The inaugural Camping World SRX Series season came to an end on July 17 with a trip to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott took part in the race and helped put on a show for the massive crowd of supporters. He raced to an exhilarating win while adding fuel to the conversation about NASCAR’s potential return to the Fairgrounds Speedway.
Elliott captured his first win in the SRX Series after holding off two NASCAR Hall of Famers. He battled with his father, Bill Elliott, during the heat races, as well as the feature event, before pulling away in the final laps. Meanwhile, Tony Stewart overtook Bill and made a late charge, but he could not capture his fourth win of the season. Though Smoke still clinched the first-ever SRX Series points championship.
“I had a ball. I got to race against two of my heroes,” Elliott told CBS Sports after his win at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. “I got to race against dad there throughout the race. Those are moments I’ll cherish forever. Super thankful to be here.”
Racing Fans & Drivers Agree About NASCAR’s Return
Elliott also addressed the ongoing conversation about races at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. He asked the crowd if they had fun and received a massive roar in response. Elliott thanked all of the fans for coming out to the track and “showing how much fun we can have” at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
The Cup Series driver was not the only person making comments about racing in Nashville. SiriusXM Speedway host Dave Moody asked if there is any remaining doubt about NASCAR returning to Nashville. He used the vibe of the event as his primary reason. Xfinity Series driver Tommy Joe Martins echoed this sentiment and pointed out the “electric atmosphere.”
The weather created concerns about potential weather delays disrupting the SRX Series race, but the fans still flocked to the short track in the heart of the city. According to the Camping World SRX Series Twitter account, this crowd was the largest at the Fairgrounds Speedway since 1970.
Conversations Continue About NASCAR in Nashville
Countless conversations have taken place in the past few months as Speedway Motorsports and NASCAR have pushed to bring back the top stock car series to the Music City short track. SMI and Nashville Mayor John Cooper even signed a letter of intent to renovate the track for potential races.
Figures such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. have shown support for the potential return while some residents have openly opposed the idea during town hall meetings. According to News Channel 5, a recent community survey showed that some residents have concerns about noise and traffic on race days.
While these discussions are taking place among community members, SMI is quickly approaching a deadline to finalize an agreement to bring NASCAR back to the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. The respective parties must sign an agreement by July 31, but the Metro Fair Board requires more clarity from SMI about financing the renovation, reducing the noise during races, and engaging with the neighborhood.
With the deadline looming, the two parties will likely seek out an extension. This will provide SMI with more time to provide the required information. According to Autoweek, one of the major concerns is how the race track will coexist with the brand new Major League Soccer stadium next door, as well as a flea market and a regional fair.
There is no definitive answer about how NASCAR will add a Fairgrounds Speedway date to the schedule, especially with the residents within a two-mile radius pushing back. However, the SRX Series race showed that there will be an audience in Music City.