No more guitar heroes

Posted by Iannucci | 7/28/2008 | 14 comments »
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It's official: we have seen the last of the single-grooved oval.

After eight years, the Indy Racing League will no longer be competing at Nashville Superspeedway.

"We’re disappointed for all of the fans and sponsors of open wheel racing in middle Tennessee,” said Cliff Hawks, Vice President and General Manager of Nashville Superspeedway.

“Regrettably, the IRL has chosen to structure their sanction fees at such a level that we had no choice but to re-evaluate whether they fit into our plan. Regardless, we believe the IRL had no further interest in the middle Tennessee market. We are very grateful to Firestone and their support of the Firestone Indy 200 for the past seven years."

(MORE from Tennessean.com)
Please sign your condolences (good, bad, or otherwise) in the comments section.

(Thanks to Jennifer for the alert,)

14 comments

  1. Forrest Gump // July 28, 2008 9:46 AM  

    That sucks for for Nashville, another one bites the dust.
    Not good news.

  2. Doug // July 28, 2008 10:00 AM  

    I know that many are disappointed by this, but lets face it. The racing at Nashville was lousy, and the event was a money loser for the series. I suspect that the track management couldn't (or wouldn't) commit the funds necessary to alter the track so that multi-groove racing was possible, nor fork out for a likely higher than previous sanctioning fee. Its unfortunate to lose a near-southeast oval, but unless the speedway can address the racing issues and afford the higher sanctioning fees, its removal was a must. There are too many other venues willing to host IndyCar races now, including other ovals.

  3. the american mutt // July 28, 2008 10:13 AM  

    I was at the last Nashville race--good ridance. If it weren't for the weather I'd have bee bored to tears. I went to an oval and a road race broke out.

  4. Moose // July 28, 2008 11:08 AM  

    Dumping Nashville didn't have doodley squat to do with "single groove" racing, because if that were true they'd be taking IMS off the schedule. Y'all are aware that IMS is a single groove track?

    Nashville was dumped because they don't promote the race; they aren't making an effort to grow the event. I'm sure the IRL wanted to see improvements to the venue, but at the top of their list would have been more seats and a promoter that was committed to filling them.

    FYI, just because a track has one groove doesn't mean you can't pass. It just means you have to pass to the inside. We saw more passing up front at Nashville than we saw at the "multi groove" Kansas, that's for sure.

  5. mmack // July 28, 2008 11:34 AM  

    I'm sorry to hear that Nashville is leaving the schedule. Mrs. mmack and I attended IRL races there in 2003 and 2004. We enjoyed the races and also had fun going to all the honky-tonks in downtown Nashville too.

  6. moose // July 28, 2008 11:59 AM  

    Yeah, it's too bad Nashville didn't have a better venue, what with the Music City connection and all. I always thought the facility looked a little flea bitten and really didn't show any signs of getting better. Just going by what I saw on TV though.

    OTOH they had the coolest trophy!

  7. Anonymous // July 28, 2008 12:10 PM  

    This is fantastic news. Nashville was becoming a pathetic show. Hopefully it is replaced with a Phoenix or Loudon. Of course, it seems with the who remergification deal the schedule will look far different and it won't be a case of added and dropped.

  8. yaumb // July 28, 2008 1:06 PM  

    Awesome. If I want to see one-groove IRL racing, I want to see it at Phoenix. Screw Nashville.

  9. Anonymous // July 28, 2008 1:33 PM  

    Nashville leaves to make room for Toronto. Any word on them ever going back to Portland?

  10. Anonymous // July 28, 2008 3:00 PM  

    I like oval racing but some of the garbage tracks have to be cut in order to get a good balance of road and street courses in there. If only TG could go back in time and realize what a gold mine Indycar was becoming in the early 1990s, with his Indy 500 still being the schedule's center piece and still the greatest race in the world, rather than playing second fiddle to that NASCRAP race on his sacred track.

  11. grizzlor // July 28, 2008 5:28 PM  

    Nothing much lost with the loss of Nashville. Dover Motorsports has now lost 3 IRL races, 1 CART race, and sold the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Boy what super promoters! In the end, it's obvious Firestone put the race there, kept it there, and now gave it up. Now if only they were to ditch Homestead and Belle Isle!

  12. John in Speedway // July 28, 2008 7:34 PM  

    At first glance, it's disappointing to see an oval go. But with the talks of Loudon and Vegas being added, I can live with it. I actually enjoyed the race this year, simply due to Helio's magnificent pass on TK. Other than that, I just really hope Vegas gets added. It gives me an excuse to make a second trip to Vegas every year. And I can't imagine a better weekend than being at my favorite vacation spot and getting to attend an IndyCar race in the same weekend. Damn near sensory overload.

  13. Carrie // July 29, 2008 5:29 AM  

    *whimpers*

    Not really. Nashville is a bore ESPECIALLY when you're watching it live and don't have retarded TV commentators and DANICA! commercials to mock.

    I'm just glad I got the opportunity to meet two of my favorite guys.

  14. Carrie // July 29, 2008 5:35 AM  

    Moose: I have to defend Nashville's appearance. In person it's actually a beautiful facility. What I love about that track is, if you're dealing with a night race, you don't have to worry about the sun setting right in your eyes.