NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville native Norm Partin grew up loving the spectacle of a race at the Nashville Fairgrounds and still feels the same way about it, so once he learned there’s a very interested party wanting to bring NASCAR back to Nashville, he had to act.
“I know a lot about it, it’s been my life since I was 5 years old, being part of the fairgrounds. There’s thousands of us out there that have grown up around that race track and I’m hurt that my city, where I’m born and bred, is not paying attention to a major league sport coming here,” said Partin. “Bristol Motor Speedway, which is owned by the Smith family that has seven racetracks across the country, very successful, want to do racing at the fairgrounds.”
With the sport moving to more short-track racing, they’re so interested, they’re willing to pay.
“The public doesn’t know that the Bristol people wish to come here and do something really good for the city, and do it to where the taxpayers aren’t footing the bill, which would be a first for the city,” said Partin. “That word is not out.”
So Partin has taken it upon himself to get the word out. He created the hashtag #Nascar2Nashville and a petition for fans to sign. The response has been nationwide.
“Dale Earnhart Jr. has participated. People on a national stage want to come here, and the people on the Facebook page are from 23 different states right now and Canada because the Fairgrounds Raceway is so so important.”
His goal is to get the word out and get people talking.
“They’ve had conversations, they’ve made proposals, but there has not been everybody getting in the room at one time. You have all of these pieces down there that have to work together and until you put everybody in a room, it’s he said, she said,” he said. “This is something that for the betterment of the city, I think could be done in one afternoon.”
Easier said than done. The track has company at the Fairgrounds with the MLS stadium coming in. With construction about to begin, the clock is ticking for NASCAR to work its way into the plans. So, Partin is calling all Nashvillians.
“The Fairboard meeting is next Tuesday (May 13 at 8:00 a.m.). Bristol is going to make a presentation there about what they wish to do and what has to happen for them to do it, and I think the city of Nashville should show up.”
“It is so irritating that something is there and Nashville has always been when it comes to NASCAR coulda shoulda woulda, and I’m not going to have it this time.”