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IndyCar moving 2024 season finale to Nashville Superspeedway

The 2024 season finale for the IndyCar Series is moving away from the Streets of Nashville and to the nearby Nashville Superspeedway.

Scott Sharp and Marco Andretti lap Sarah Fishe

Photo by: Dan Streck

The Music City Grand Prix was being set up as the final race of the upcoming season on 15 September, but now the event has been pulled in favour of a return to Nashville Superspeedway.

IndyCar made its debut on the 11-turn, 2.170-mile street circuit in 2021, which carried drivers across the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge through downtown and around the stadium that hosts the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.

There were plans announced last August for the event to host the season finale for 2024, which was also going to include a different layout that would keep some elements of the original, such as the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge, but also a run-through Broadway and included a curved pit lane.

The 1.33-mile asphalt oval in Lebanon, Tennessee, roughly 30 minutes outside of Nashville, becomes the first oval season finale for IndyCar since Fontana 2014.

“Nashville Superspeedway is ideally suited to our highly competitive and extremely intense style of racing, and we look forward to adding a Speedway Motorsports track to our schedule,” Penske Entertainment President & CEO Mark Miles said.

“Our fans will eagerly anticipate watching a championship be decided on a high-speed oval, with NBC providing a must-see network telecast to viewers around the country.

“Scott and his team will do a terrific job organising our finale weekend, and I’m incredibly appreciative of their efforts to pivot and find a fitting venue for our fans, drivers and teams.”

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

IndyCar previously competed on the oval from 2001-08, with six-time series champion Scott Dixon the last driver to reach Victory Lane courtesy of three consecutive wins in 2006, 2007, 2008.

Big Machine, which was the promoter for the Music City Grand Prix, will remain the event’s entitlement sponsor despite the move.

“Nashville is a world-class sport and entertainment market that loves its racing,” said Scott Borchetta, founder and chairman of Big Machine Label Group.

“In its first three years, the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix successfully established itself as a major event in Nashville, and it has tremendous potential for growth, so I couldn’t be more excited to make this statement regarding its future.”

Borchetta highlighted the reasons behind the decision for the change from downtown Nashville.

“With construction set to begin for the new Titans Stadium, the Grand Prix operations team knew they’d be faced with new challenges, knowing that the course used for the first three years would have to change dramatically for 2024’s race,” Borchetta said.

“With several key locations around the stadium not available as in years past and with the proposed course change to run through the streets of downtown Nashville, (a big loop that utilizes the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge, First Avenue, Broadway, Fourth Avenue and Korean Veterans Boulevard), we simply don’t have the proper space needed by the race teams nor the proper access for downtown businesses and residences to execute the world-class event that is expected by our amazing fans, IndyCar teams and sponsors.

“With the significant challenges of the proposed new layout and unknowns with the new stadium construction, which has been the centre of operations for the first three years of the Grand Prix, the decision has been made to move the 2024 race to the Nashville Superspeedway.

Helio Castroneves (BRA), Team Penske, leads the start of the Firestone Indy 200

Helio Castroneves (BRA), Team Penske, leads the start of the Firestone Indy 200

Photo by: Sutton Images

“This has no bearing on our great relationship with the Tennessee Titans. The team’s management has been nothing but supportive regarding the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, and we fully intend to continue conversations with them and the City of Nashville as to when the right time will be to return to the streets of Nashville.

“We also want to underline how supportive Metro and new Mayor Freddie O’Connell and his team have been during this transition. The mayor is a real fan of the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix and has attended the race every year.

“He and his team have helped us address all angles in how best to proceed, and we feel that we’ve landed on the best option for a great race experience, for both fans and race teams, by moving to Speedway Motorsports’ Nashville Superspeedway.”

Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell said: "The Music City Grand Prix has been more than a race. It's a festival that celebrates both Nashville and racing. We appreciate Scott Borchetta and Big Machine's vision and partnership and look forward to the race returning to downtown Nashville in the future.

“I've enjoyed attending all three Music City Grand Prix races and appreciate their continued commitment to Nashville. Racing at the Nashville Superspeedway will add new intrigue to this year's event."

Indy NXT, the development series for IndyCar, will also have its season finale held at Nashville Superspeedway.

"This is fantastic news for race fans, Nashville, the NTT IndyCar Series and Nashville Superspeedway. This partnership is a natural fit amongst our companies, and I am grateful for the faith that Roger (Penske), Scott (Borchetta) and IndyCar have placed in us to host their season finale,” said Speedway Motorsports President & CEO Marcus Smith.

“When we acquired Nashville Superspeedway in 2021, hosting events like the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix was part of our vision. Speedway Motorsports always wants to expand our event calendar with exceptional entertainment for fans that also increases economic impact for the entire Middle Tennessee region.”

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