Special to Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
Nashville Superspeedway won't host to any NASCAR events in 2012, parent company Dover Motorsports announced Wednesday.
Nashville is the third track owned by Dover Motorsports that will close or be sold in the last three years. Dover shut down its Memphis and Gateway facilities in the last two years. Memphis was later sold.
A 1.33-mile concrete track located about 30 miles outside of Nashville in Gladeville, Tenn., Nashville Superspeedway opened in 2001 and had two Nationwide Series and two Camping World Truck Series events this year.
It is perhaps best known for one of the most unique trophies in NASCAR-a Gibson Les Paul guitar with artwork done by noted NASCAR artist Sam Bass.
The facility has not filled its 25,000 permanent grandstand seats for its races in recent years.
"Nashville is a tremendous market filled with passionate race fans," track general manager Cliff Hawks said. "We have some extremely dedicated and talented employees who have made this track a great destination, but the reality is, after 10 years of effort, we have to face the fact that without a Sprint Cup race and/or a significant change in the operating model for other events, we simply cannot continue."
NASCAR officials did not say where those Nationwide and truck series races could be relocated next year.
"NASCAR appreciates the efforts by the Nashville Superspeedway team and the support and enthusiasm the fans have shown during our 10 years racing there," NASCAR senior vice president of operations Steve O'Donnell said in a statement. "While the track owners have chosen not to renew their sanctions agreement, we will continue to provide opportunities for NASCAR fans in the region to follow our sport."
Dover Motorsports will consider selling the facility. In a revaluation of the track in 2008, Dover listed the value of the Nashville track at $51.5 million.
Approximately $21 million in bonds issued to build the track still must be repaid through property and sales taxes generated by the facility. Payments are scheduled through 2029, and if the taxes are insufficient, Dover Motorsports will use its current line of credit to make up the difference.