The top three series in NASCAR head to Nashville Superspeedway on June 18-20 for a stacked weekend of racing. Prior to the trip, track officials announced that they will partner with Gibson for the Victory Lane trophies. The three winning drivers will take the checkered flag and then hold a custom Les Paul above their heads.
From 2001 to 2011, Truck Series and Xfinity Series drivers walked away from Nashville Superspeedway with a custom guitar as their prize. Sam Bass, NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist, designed the Gibsons, which featured special graphics celebrating racing in Middle Tennessee. Bass passed away in 2019 from kidney disease, but Nashville Superspeedway will keep his memory alive with the trophies.
“Without question it’s important to maintain the tradition of a Music City-made Gibson guitar for our race winners,” said Erik Moses, Nashville Superspeedway’s president, in a statement. “While everyone misses Sam and we could never recreate what he offered to our track champions, we are thrilled to rekindle our partnership with Gibson and to award their timeless guitars to our race winners.”
Multiple Cup Series Drivers Have Held the Custom Trophies
While the Cup Series has not raced at Nashville Superspeedway, there are several drivers that have reached Victory Lane at the concrete oval. Austin Dillon won a Truck Series race at the track in 2011 while Brad Keselowski won Nationwide Series races in 2008 and 2010.
Kyle Busch has held the guitar trophy multiple times in his career after winning both Truck Series and Nationwide Series races at Nashville Superspeedway. He also tried and failed to portray a rock guitarist after a win in 2009. Busch slammed his trophy onto the ground multiple times in an attempt to break it, but the guitar remained whole. He ultimately just tossed it to the ground and walked off to celebrate.
“Nashville is a fun track in my heart,” Keselowski told Heavy during a 2021 interview. “You know, [I] won my first-ever NASCAR race there. Love the city, the town, and early memories of going to the first race there for the NASCAR truck series.
“So taking the Cup cars there should be a really good challenge. I’m curious how they run on the concrete, curious how the tires will hold up. I’ve got a lot of questions. And ultimately, they’ll be answered in due time. But it is nice to get back in that market for sure.”
NASCAR Is Embracing Music City for the Race Weekend
The guitar trophies are only a glimpse into the music-related festivities during the NASCAR weekend. The track officials and NBC Sports are going all out to create an exciting atmosphere for the fans, to the point that Brad Paisley will join forces with Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the pre-race broadcast.
Additionally, another country superstar will head to Nashville Superspeedway to get the fans ready for the Ally 400. Chris Janson, the platinum-selling artist behind “Buy Me a Boat” and “Good Vibes,” will perform a pre-race concert at the concrete oval. He will head to a stage near the start/finish line and showcase his talents between the morning’s qualifying sessions and the Cup Series race.
The Rackley Roofing 200 Camping World Truck Series will kick off the stacked weekend of racing at Nashville Superspeedway on Friday, June 18. The race will take place at 8 p.m. ET and will air on FS1. The Tennessee Lottery 250 Xfinity Series race will headline Saturday with a start time of 3:30 p.m. ET. The Ally 400 Cup Series race will then cap off the weekend on Sunday, June 20, at 3:30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports will broadcast the Xfinity Series and Cup Series races.