Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in Nashville to talk about the Menards ARCA Series, but spent a lot of time talking about NASCAR’s return to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
Perhaps one sings the praises of the track as much as Earnhardt — perhaps because he took his first laps at the track first in a late-model stock car in 1996. So for Earnhardt, Nashville brings him a sense of nostalgia.
“It was an eight-hour drive (to Nashville) with our gooseneck trailer. We were typically racing Friday nights in Florence, S.C. and Saturday nights in Myrtle Beach,” Earnhardt told reporters. “Any off weekend we knew exactly where we were going and that was to Nashville. The racing then was very healthy. Big car counts. It was a big track, much different than anything we had farther east.”
NASCAR hasn’t held a race at the fairgrounds in some time, but Earnhardt indicated Nashville is a good fit for the short-track schedule.
“We could always use more short tracks,” he said. “The racing that we see at the short tracks like Martinsville and Bristol is so exciting, and if we could bottle that up and take it all over the country, everyone would be in love with it. To add another short track to the schedule makes a lot of sense to me.”
So yes, if the Xfinity Series comes to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway first, Earnhardt will indeed race.
“I run once a year. I’ll probably do that as long as I can and there should be a few more years of that,” he said. “Hopefully we can get the Xfinity here soon — the next couple of years, because I’d love to come out here and compete.”