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DATE News (chronologically)
08/04/11
nascar
NASCAR junior leagues failing for Dover Motorsports  If you are not Bruton Smith (SMI) or The France Family (ISC) you simply don't get a NASCAR Sprint Cup race and you wither and die.  It's a closed 'boys club.' 

The closing of Nashville Superspeedway by Dover Motorsports is the third such financial move by the company within the past three years. In 2009 it closed and subsequently sold Memphis Motorsports Park. Last year it closed Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill, just east of St. Louis. Each of those tracks also hosted Nationwide and Camping World races. The Memphis facility, bought by Moroso Investment Partners of Palm Beach, Fla., has been renamed Memphis International Raceway and is currently being renovated. Speculation on its seeking the Nashville Superspeedway NASCAR dates was quickly shot down on Wednesday.

"Memphis International Raceway has held NASCAR Truck and Nationwide events in the past," said Pam Kendrick, the track's general manager. "At this time, Memphis International Raceway is not campaigning for the Nashville NASCAR dates. We are interested in having NASCAR events at Memphis in the future; however, it will not be in the 2012 season."

Meanwhile, the future of Nashville Superspeedway and its traditions, including its iconic Les Paul Gibson guitar trophy, seem destined to be resting on the hope that someone will purchase the track and re-open it. That's certainly the hope of artist Sam Bass, who painted the guitar trophy that became synonymous with a track victory.

"In a perfect scenario someone would buy that race track tomorrow and keep the races there," Bass said. "I truthfully hope that happens. It's really sad news. I can't say that I'm surprised based on the attendance over the past couple of years. It's a tough economy right now, and they truly have suffered.

"I don't want to write that trophy off yet. Until they say they are not racing I'm going to hold out hope that they will be there and can continue."

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