If you build it up, they will come.
And, oh, did the people come to Nashville Superspeedway last June, when NASCAR’s top series returned to middle Tennessee for the first time since 1984.
A sellout crowd of approximately 38,000 was on hand just after COVID-19 restrictions were eased to watch Kyle Larson cross the finish line first on a hot Father’s Day afternoon in Lebanon.
Originally, capacity was to be 25,000, but demand resulted in the addition of temporary seating. The crowd brought with it talk of possibly expanding capacity for future races, an option that remains but won’t be necessary for this weekend’s race, which as of Thursday had not sold out.
BRUTON SMITH:NASCAR legend Bruton Smith, whose company owns Nashville Superspeedway, has died at 95
ALLY 400:NASCAR’s Ally 400 will be nice addition for Nashville — if traffic problems get fixed | Estes
ALLY 400 RACE:Will traffic be a problem again for the Ally 400 NASCAR Cup Series race? Officials hope not
“As with most kinds of second-year events, once all the people who are looking to check something off their bucket list kind of move on to the next thing they want to check off their bucket list, you start to figure out, ‘All right, who is our core group that’s going to come every year,” track president Erik Moses told The Tennessean. “You have to constantly recruit.
Moses said tickets sales for this year’s Ally 400, scheduled for 4 pm Sunday, “are strong” and that he and his team will continue to try to improve the experience year over year.
High on that list of priorities is attendance, along with parking and traffic management for all three races this weekend: the Rackley Roofing 200 Camping World Truck Series Race (7 pm, CT, FS1) followed Saturday by the Tennessee Lottery 250 Xfinity Series Race ( 2:30 pm, CT, USA) an then Sunday by the Ally 400 (4 pm, CT, NBC).
ALLY 400:What to expect for the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway under new ownership
NASCAR CUP:Nashville Superspeedway was packed inside and out for first NASCAR Cup Series race here in 37 years
As for the crowds this weekend, Moses said the focus goes far beyond the numbers.
“I think we should be measured, as you would with any business,” Moses said. “You want to make certain that whether the crowd is 80,000 or 20,000 people, that those folks are having a good time, and that we’re meeting their needs before we start thinking about some sort of permanent expansion.”
Reach Paul Skrbina at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PaulSkrbina.