On Friday, Nashville Superspeedway track officials announced that the upcoming inaugural Ally 400 NASCAR Cup Series race has sold out and will be at full capacity. That means all 38,000 seats have already been sold for the June 20 race.
After nearly a decade of being shutdown, races are returning to the Nashville Superspeedway. The track closed in August 2011 because of poor attendance and having no prospects of attracting a Cup Series event. However, NASCAR is finally heading back to Nashville in just a few weeks.
From the influx of ticket sales, fans are clearly excited for the race. State health officials recently lifted attendance restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore there was no limit placed on the upcoming Ally 400 NASCAR Cup Series race.
In addition, the Tennessee Lottery 250 NASCAR Xfinity race is scheduled for Saturday, June 19. Furthermore, the Rackley Roofing 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race will take place on Friday, June 18. So NASCAR fans in the Nashville area have a full weekend of racing options to choose from for the first time in years.
“This is an incredible milestone and shows all the progress we as a society and a sport have made against COVID-19,” Nashville Superspeedway President Erik Moses said, according to the Tennessean. “It also shows us how eager race fans in this area are to see the return of the NASCAR Cup Series. We appreciate the confidence that local and state health officials have shown in us to host our fans in a responsible way.”
Moses explained that COVID-19 protocols will still be followed over the weekend. Fans who aren’t vaccinated will be encouraged to wear facemasks. The speedway will also utilize enhanced cleaning procedures in high-traffic areas.
NASCAR Holding First Race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX
While NASCAR is making its return to Nashville, it’s also visiting another track for the very first time this weekend. On Sunday, the Circuit of the Americas road course in Austin, Texas will welcome the NASCAR Cup Series. The course has previously been used by Formula One racing, but it will be the inaugural visit for NASCAR.
The Circuit of the Americas is one of seven road course tracks on the race circuit this year. Considering the Cup Series only utilized three road courses last season, it’s a huge change for the sport. The Austin road course is a 3.41-mile-long track that’s made up of 20 turns, which includes nine right turns. Additionally, the course has an elevation change of 133 feet.
In March, NASCAR had a few drivers run test sessions on the track. Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., and Brad Keselowski each tested the course in their respective Chevy, Toyota and Ford race cars. NASCAR wanted to check to see how each model would handle the road course.
“The track’s fun, you know, it has a lot of character to it,” Elliott shared after the test. “I feel like it’s really been a steep learning curve for me just trying to piece together all the different parts of the track.”
Following the test runs, Keselowski spoke about the first turn on the track. The racers will face a sharp hairpin located at the top of a hill at the end of the pit.
“Turn 1 is designed as though a fan said ‘how can I have the most calamity in that corner at the start?'” Keselowski said. “It’s uphill. It encourages a driver to try to out-brake another driver, which is big on a restart or a start because all the cars are already so close together.”