So, has Nashville forgiven Kyle Busch?
For the first time ever, the NASCAR Truck and Nationwide Series will run at the Nashville SuperSpeedway. The Speedway gained a Truck Series race after the closing of the Memphis track last year and will run with the Nationwide race that has been run there for the last ten years.
In fact, this is the ten year anniversary for Nashville Superspeedway. A pretty good present of a Truck race added to the tracks yearly schedule. Many of the Cup regulars are pulling ‘Double Duty’ over the weekend and hopes for many fans turning out for the event is hopeful.
While Kyle Busch decided not to run the Nationwide Series on a full time basis this year, he will be running on the high banked concrete track at Nashville this weekend. He will join fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Joe Nemechek, Michael McDowell, and last springs Nationwide Series Nashville winner Joey Logano.
Busch, who destroyed the original Sam Bass custom painted trophy Gibson, Les Paul guitar in victory lane in June, will probably not be well received by the Nashville race fans. After his exhibition of stupidity in victory lane that night, he was the talk of the town on talk radio, local sports news, and racing fans throughout Nashville and the whole country. I don’t think enough time has passed since his immature action for the fans to forgive him as of yet. We’ll see this weekend and I’m sure he won’t be dumb enough to smash the coveted trophy if he wins either of the races. I’d hate to think just how the crowd would react if he was to do it again….
Kevin Harvick has not been to Nashville Superspeedway since 2006. He said “I haven’t raced at Nashville since I won my last Nationwide Series championship back in ’06, I’m looking forward to going back and seeing how it has changed. I am really optimistic about our chances. (Ron) Hornaday and his team had a really solid package there last year and I think we can even improve on that this year with some of the things we have learned through testing and R & D work. I would like to put another guitar in the trophy case.“ Harvick is having a great start to the year as an owner and this place could be very good to him.
It was also this race, one year ago, that Joe Nemechek rolled his car coming out of turn four, landing on his wheels on the front stretch and proceeded around the track, drove into the pits wanting to continue the race. Track official deemed the car unsafe to continue the race and the disappointed Nemechek limped into the garage area and parked his car for the day. “It was a wild ride. I never thought you could roll a car at Nashville but I guess I did it, I don’t really want to do that again!” Joe was unhurt in the accident, but a week later told me he was still a little sore from the bumps and bruises he got from the tumble.
In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kevin Harvick has won the last two races, Atlanta and Martinsville, but will have to re-learn the track. And don’t forget all the hot tempers from the last two short track races that have evolved from the drivers in all series. The speeds are fast enough at Nashville to where an innocent, deliberate spin could result in heavy damage to a car or truck or possible injury to drivers, crews, or worst yet, fans. They all need to play nice and keep their cool. 38 NCWS Trucks are on the entry list for this weekend with 49 Nationwide Series cars on tap trying for a starting spot.
Nashville Speedway is a very fan friendly facility and an all out nice place. It’s easy to park and get to your seats, the cost is low for the entire family, and the folks there are eager to make the experience a worth-wile fun place to attend a NASCAR race. Shuttle buses are there to provide fans an easy trip to the infield for the fan walk, which lets fans walk in between pit road and the garage area and see up close all the preparation for the race activities. The drivers have to walk from the garage to pit road to get to their cars and will stop and sign autographs while heading out to their cars for qualifying. It lets you get as close to the drivers and crews as well as any track I’ve attended. The track also has the All Access Pass which lets you walk among the cars on the starting grid, attend the drivers meeting, and walk around the garage area while teams are preparing their cars.
Nashville Superspeedway will be putting on a fun weekend of NASCAR racing with it being their 10 year anniversary and since it’s Easter, they are even having an Easter egg hunt for the children with lots of nice prizes. After the race on Saturday, a free concert with Big Machine Records recording artists, Steel Magnolia, will perform on the frontstretch as part of the Dillon Transportation Concert Series.
It’s going to be an absolute beautiful weekend with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80′s. Come on out and bring the family for a good time in Nashville. Oh, and the racing will be great also!