Nashville’s 102.5 The Game To Air 25 NASCAR Races During The 2022 Season

Cromwell Media’s 102.5 The Game has partnered with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) to air at least 25 NASCAR Cup Series Races on ESPN 102.5 the Game and ESPN 94.9 in the 2022 season.

“NASCAR’s history in Nashville runs deep as evidenced by the terrific response to the sport’s return last June,” says Chris Schwartz, president of MRN. “All of us with the Motor Racing Network are thrilled to partner with Nashville’s Best Sports Talk–102.5 The Game to deliver the excitement of NASCAR Racing to Middle Tennessee!”

The season will kick off at the inaugural Busch Clash at the LA Coliseum on Feb. 6. Season highlights include the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20 and the 2nd Annual Ally 400 at the Nashville Super Speedway on June 26.

“NASCAR has a long history in Nashville, and with a resurgence of live racing events in the community, PRN is thrilled to have a home on 102.5 The Game,” says Doug Rice, PRN president. “We look forward to bringing our live race broadcasts from tracks around the country directly to the greater Nashville area.”

ESPN 102.5 the Game’s Program Director, Chase McCabe, has already set the foundation for the stations NASACR coverage with his weekly show Chasing Checkers which features drivers and other voices of NASCAR. McCabe’s show was at the forefront of the city’s NASCAR content during the lead up to the Ally 400 at the Nashville Superspeedway.

“I am excited to have NASCAR racing on our radio stations!” says McCabe. “As someone who has covered the sport for several years, it’s a thrill to enhance our coverage even more by airing the races.”

Matt DiBenedetto Signs With Nashville-Based Truck Series Team Rackley W.A.R.

Matt DiBenedetto. Photo: Courtesy of Rackley W.A.R

Stock car driver Matt DiBenedetto will be driving full time for the Nashville-based NASCAR Truck Series team Rackley W.A.R. in the upcoming 2022 season.

DiBenedetto spent the last seven seasons racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving in Wood Brothers Racing in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

“We are honored to have Matt DiBenedetto join Rackley W.A.R. full-time for the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season driving the number 25 Chevrolet,” shares Rackley W.A.R. team co-owner Curtis Sutton. “We feel that by teaming Matt up with experienced  crew chief Chad Kendrick, we will be competing for multiple wins and be competitive at all race tracks. I truly believe that the NASCAR Truck Series is the most exciting, and I am looking forward to getting the season started.”

DiBenedetto has been racing in NASCAR for over 15 years and has proved his versatility driving in both the cup and Xfinifty Series. He raced 248 races in the cup series and 69 in the Xfinity series.

“I can honestly say that, at this time in my career, I am truly excited,” adds DiBenedetto. “I feel like I’m going back to my roots in a lot of ways. I love the feeling you immediately get when you talk to Curtis, Willie [Allen], Chad; all the guys around this organization. They are all hard-core racers and everyone is extremely dedicated.  This opportunity is a blessing to me and I’m really excited to do my part in taking this team to the next level.”

Rackley W.A.R. was founded in 2020 by Sutton and Allen, who drove for the team in the 2021 season. Allen, a Tennessee native, spent five years in the Xfinity series and seven in the truck series.

“We have a lot of great folks around this race shop and in a lot of other places,” says Allen. “This will be our second year having an alliance with GMS Racing and we’re really appreciative of all they do for us. We will continue our manufacturer alliance with GM and Chevrolet, and we’re super-thankful for the resources they make available to us. This series is for sure the most competitive out there right now, and we are really fortunate to have excellent partners. We anticipate a big year as we look forward to our first win.”

Rackley W.A.R. was the title sponsor for the 2020 NASCAR Rackley Roofing 200 Truck Series Race at the Nashville Superspeedway.

Speedway Motorsports Completes Purchase Of Dover Motorsports, Nashville Superspeedway

Nashville Superspeedway. Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Speedway Motorsports has officially purchased all outstanding shares of Dover Motorsports, which includes Dover Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway.

The offer was previously announced in November, but is now finalized as Speedway has bought Dover at a per share price of $3.61 (the “tender offer”), net to each selling stockholder in cash, without interest, and less any applicable withholding taxes.

“On behalf of our company I’d like to thank Denis McGlynn and Dover Motorsports for their cooperation and support through this process,” says Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith. “As our acquisition becomes complete, we look forward to turning our focus toward engaging the teams at Dover and Nashville to produce exciting events for race fans in 2022.”

Speedway Motorsports will complete its acquisition of Dover through consummation of a merger of Speedco II, with and into Dover without a vote of the Dover stockholders, in accordance with Section 251(h) of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware.

The merger is anticipated to be effective as of Dec. 22, 2021. Each remaining share of Dover not purchased in the tender offer will be converted into the right to receive the same $3.61 in cash, without interest, and less any applicable withholding taxes, that will be paid in the tender offer.

Dover Motorsports announced the reopening of the Nashville Superspeedway in June of 2020. The speedway hosted a NASCAR tripleheader weekend for the first time in June of 2021 with the inaugural Ally 400 Cup Series race. The 2022 Ally 400 is set for June 26.

Bristol Motor Speedway Announces Community Benefit Partners For Fairgrounds Restoration

Pictured: BMS EVP and GM Jerry Caldwell (center, second from left at podium) welcomed representatives from six community benefits partners during a special luncheon in Nashville as part of the revitalization plan for the historic Fairgrounds Speedway. Photo: Courtesy of the Bristol Motor Speedway

The initiative to bring NASCAR back to the Nashville Fairground Speedway took a major step forward after Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) and six local organizations announced a Community Benefits Commitment partnership.

“Being a good community partner is in the DNA of our company, and the more conversations that we had with neighborhood organizations, we were impressed with the dedicated missions being advanced by area nonprofits,” says Jerry Caldwell, BMS EVP/GM. “We wanted to find a way that our presence at the Fairgrounds could have a mutually beneficial impact for the community. As we focus on turning around the speedway to give it a new life that contributes to a fully renovated Fairgrounds, we believe our responsibility includes being a good neighbor to make a positive contribution to the communities around us.”

BMS and Fairgrounds officials conducted more than two dozen outreach meetings with neighborhood stakeholders over the past year to form partnerships that can benefit community nonprofits. These organizations are Glencliff High School, Fall-Hamilton Elementary School, Operation Stand Down Tennessee, Conexión Américas, Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee

“The North Nashville Community Economic Development Consortium (NNCEDC) is excited about engaging with Bristol Motor Speedway as a Nashville community benefits partner. The NNCEDC is a partnership of five 501c3 organizations: The William F. Buchanan CDC, Jump Nashville CDC, Mt. Calvary Herman Street CDC, New Level CDC and Be a Helping Hand CDC,” says Carlina Bell Rollins, North Nashville Community Economic Development Consortium.

“We value transparent community communication, accountability and engagement,” Rollins continues. “Because of this development and our partnership with Bristol Motor Speedway, we will be able to ensure that the communities we support benefit economically through this coming project. The benchmark of our success will be equitably determined by the stakeholders of North Nashville. We aim to surpass minority business enterprise expectations by creating deep and long-lasting partnerships between Bristol Motor Speedway and North Nashville neighbors and stakeholders.”

The Community Benefits Commitment offers programs that support the community, including volunteerism, fundraising and event facility use opportunities for nonprofits, arts and beautification initiatives, and more. Highlights include:

  • BMS will work with Metro Nashville Public Schools’ neighboring Glencliff High School and Fall Hamilton Elementary to invest resources for student success.
  • BMS will work with Conexión Américas and its Casa Azafran facility to support the communities around the speedway, specifically for Conexión Américas’ longstanding microenterprise, culinary incubation, education and community development initiatives.
  • BMS will partner with Operation Stand Down Tennessee to support military veterans and their families. BMS will host veterans’ events and honor military veterans at NFS events and programs to engage, equip and empower our local military veterans.
  • BMS will partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, Inc., to provide educational access and activities for youth across Middle TN Clubhouses.
  • BMS will create a Nashville chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, an organization devoted to raising money and distributing to local charities that meet the needs of children. A nonprofit arm of Speedway Motorsports founded in 1982 by BMS founder O. Bruton Smith, Speedway Children’s Charities has raised more than $60 million for local organizations to help children have a better, brighter, healthier future.
  • BMS commits to a $15.50 per hour minimum wage rate for all full-time, part-time and event staff.

This follows Mayor John Cooper’s announcement of  a partnership with BMS to renovate the Fairgrounds Speedway, which has already seen major developments with the addition of the Nashville SC Stadium.

To read about the full offering of programs and initiatives, click here.

Trackhouse Racing, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge Partner For 2022 Season

Daniel Suárez’s No. 99 Tootsie’s World-Famous Orchid Lounge Chevrolet Camaro. Photo: Courtesy of Trackhouse Racing

Franklin-based Trackhouse Entertainment Group is teaming up with Tootsie’s World-Famous Orchid Lounge for the 2022 NASCAR season.

Tootsie’s will sponsor driver Daniel Suárez‘s No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro for six races this season, including the Daytona 500 and the second annual Ally 400 at the Nashville Superspeedway.

“A Tootsie’s car on the streets of Nashville and in the Daytona 500. There’s nothing better than that,” says Owner and Founder Justin Marks. “We are also grateful the Nashville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Opry Entertainment are joining with us in 2022. We are certainly going to be team Nashville.”

The car will also feature the “Visit Nashville” logo and slogan of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation in multiple races during the 2022 season. Tootsies, Opry Entertainment’s “Ole Red” brand, and the Nashville Convention and Visitor’s Corp. will also be featured on the car in an effort to promote Nashville’s hospitality and tourism industry.

“I have been a stock car racing fan all of my life,” says Steve Smith, owner of several Nashville hospitality venues. “I recently visited with NASCAR executives and members of the France family about Nashville’s role in the NASCAR landscape, and I believe that this city will be prominently and positively promoted by NASCAR for many years to come.”

Trackhouse Racing just finished its rookie season in the NASCAR Cup Series, bought Chip Ganassi Racing, and added driver Ross Chastain. The Tootsie’s car made its debut at the inaugural Ally 400 this past June at the Nashville Superspeedway.

“As owners of some of Nashville’s most iconic tourism landmarks, we are pleased to join forces with the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp, Tootsie’s, and Trackhouse Racing to promote Nashville to NASCAR’s passionate fan base,” says Opry Entertainment Group President Scott Bailey. “We’re particularly excited to support the team during this year’s race in Las Vegas where our newest Ole Red location will open in 2023.”

Trackhouse Entertainment Group is a burgeoning sports and entertainment enterprise with plans to marry the cultures of music and motorsports. It owns Trackhouse Racing which is co-owned with Grammy Award-winning artist Pitbull. The team is a two-car Cup Series team headquarters in Concord, North Carolina.

Mayor John Cooper, Bristol Motor Speedway Reach Deal To Renovate Fairgrounds Speedway

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Renderings. Courtesy of Metro Government.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Bristol Motor Speedway have agreed to a principle deal to renovate the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in hopes to bring NASCAR Cup Series racing back to the historic track.

“This partnership creates an economically viable future for our historic track, spurs hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, and completes the last unrenovated part of the Nashville Fairgrounds at no cost to the Metro General Fund,” says Cooper.

This partnership with BMS will restore the second-oldest operating motor speedway in the United States to the national stage. The agreement will result in a modernized track that meets NASCAR series standards and transform the Fairgrounds Speedway into a multipurpose venue that can also host non-racing, revenue-generating events.

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Renderings. Courtesy of Metro Governemnt

Mayor Cooper is working with Vice Mayor Jim Shulman to create a Fair Board that reflects the cultural diversity of both Fairgrounds visitors and Davidson County overall. If the deal is approved by the Fair Board, the proposal will be submitted to the Sports Authority and the Metropolitan Council with related legislation.

“In keeping with the national profile that Nashville Soccer Club is bringing to the Fairgrounds in 2022, this innovative partnership will bring our historic speedway back to life as a crown jewel in the world of motor sports,” says Cooper. “Having professional soccer and NASCAR side by side will make our Fairgrounds a family destination for Nashville’s future. I look forward to working with Bristol, the State of Tennessee, the Fair Board, the Sports Authority and the Council on this proposal.”

The fairgrounds has already seen major renovations and upgrades this past year with the construction of the Nashville Soccer Club Stadium, which will be the largest soccer specific stadium in the nation. The stadium is set to open in April, 2022 and sold almost 90% of its premium season tickets.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the mayor, government officials and Nashville community to breathe new life in the legendary Fairgrounds Speedway,” says Marcus Smith, president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports and BMS. “In addition to bringing major NASCAR series races back to the historic facility, we’ll create a calendar for local racing and special events that generates a positive economic impact for the region.”

NASCAR racing returned to Nashville in June of 2021 for the first time in nearly 30 years. The Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon hosted a tripleheader weekend, including the sold out Cup Series Ally 400 race. Music City also welcomed IndyCar for the first time by hosting the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in August.

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Renderings. Courtesy of Metro Government.

“The historic Fairgrounds Speedway is one of Nashville’s unique entertainment assets and deserves an opportunity to rekindle its great reputation,” says Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “The relationship with BMS is an incredible opportunity to restore this track and bring top tier racing back to Nashville.”

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, which opened in 1904, is the second-oldest operating motor speedway in the United States and hosted an annual NASCAR Cup Series event from 1958-1984. It has a celebrated history, with past champions that include Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, and local drivers Darrell Waltrip and Sterling Marlin.

To read key terms of the proposal, click here.

NASCAR Champions Week Kicks Off Today In Nashville

NASCAR is back in Nashville for its annual Champions Week, which will feature Burnouts on Broadway, the NASCAR Awards, and other fan-centered festivities throughout the week.

Staff members of Nashville Superspeedway will be at several locations throughout Champion’s Week with opportunities for giveaway items, as well as the chance to win tickets and prizes for the June 24-26, 2022, NASCAR tripleheader weekend in Nashville, featuring the Ally 400 Cup Series race.

“There is a reason NASCAR is bringing its Champion’s Week back to Nashville,” says Erik Moses, Nashville Superspeedway’s president. “This area is passionate about motorsports and the response the first Champion’s Week in Nashville garnered in 2019 was one of the key reasons NASCAR brought racing back to Nashville Superspeedway this past season.”

Throughout the week, NASCAR will be honoring Cup Series and Ally 400 champion Kyle Larson, NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ben Rhodes, as well as other NASCAR touring series winners from the 2021 seasons.

The Champion’s Week Itinerary is as follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 30:

  • Ally Fan Headquarters | Ole Red (11 a.m.-Midnight)
    • “Register To Win” raffle for chance to win Ally 400 tickets and dinner from Ole Red
    • Alex Bowman’s No. 48 Ally Chevrolet parked outside for pictures
    • Ally 400 replica trophy on-site
  • NASCAR Next Gen Display/2022 Track Schedule Display |Riverfront Park (Noon-6 p.m.)
  • NASCAR Night at Nashville Predators vs. Columbus Blue Jackets sponsored by Hunt Brothers Pizza | Bridgestone Arena (7 p.m.)
    • Nashville Superspeedway ticketing staff on arena concourse for “Register To Win” race ticket signups. Fans who register can receive a commemorative Ally 400 souvenir program from the track’s inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race on Father’s Day.
    • NASCAR-themed activities throughout the game.

Wednesday, Dec. 1:

  • Ally Fan Headquarters | Ole Red (11 a.m.-Midnight)
    • “Register To Win” for chance to win Ally 400 tickets and dinner from Ole Red
    • Alex Bowman’s No. 48 Ally Chevrolet parked outside for pictures.
    • Ally 400 replica trophy on-site
  • NASCAR Next Gen Display/2022 Track Schedule Display | Riverfront Park (Noon-6 p.m.)
  • Burnouts on Broadway presented by DoorDash | Lower Broadway (6:30-8 p.m.)
    • Nashville Superspeedway branded giant guitar on display for photos near car staging area.
    • Nashville Superspeedway ticketing staff pop-up tent for “Register to Win” opportunity on corner of Broadway and 3rd Avenue (in front of Ole Red).

Thursday, Dec. 2:

  • NASCAR Next Gen Display/2022 Track Schedule Display | Riverfront Park (10 a.m.-Noon)

Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium To Host NASCAR Street Party

Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium is set to celebrate NASCAR Champion’s Week with the NASCAR Street Party at PNC Plaza from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.

Fans will be able to join in on the celebration at the Ryman on Nov. 30, from 2-7 p.m.; Dec. 1, from 1-7 p.m. and Dec. 2, from 2-7 p.m. The special plaza parties will feature free live music, photo opportunities with NASCAR race cars, appearances by champion drivers, giveaways, food trucks, local vendors, and family activities.

The live music line up for the NASCAR Street Party at PNC Plaza includes Tim Cote, Alex Smith, Matt Ferranti, Southerland, Hudson Valley, Payton Smith and more to be announced in the coming days.

NASCAR’s annual Champion’s Week will be highlighted by the Burnouts on Broadway, presented by DoorDash, and the NASCAR Awards which will be held on on Dec. 2.