The local holding company planning to buy Nashville Superspeedway has held a meeting with IndyCar officials about bringing back that racing series, which last raced at the track in 2008.
The meeting was exploratory and nothing firm is planned as a follow-up, said Robb Sexton, CEO of NeXovation, which is preparing to pay $27 million in cash and take on almost $19 million in debt on the Superspeedway. Sexton and the NeXovation team plan to add a number of services and facilities to the Gladeville complex as part of a plan to build a facility that Sexton says will "reinvent the motorsport venue model" and appeal to the global market.
IndyCar is willing to be a part of those plans, one of its top executives said recently.
"We're looking at getting some repeatability and consistency with what we're doing and then look at the future. But we would like to be there, no doubt about it," Derrick Walker, president of operations and competition at IndyCar, told several members of the media this past weekend.
Sexton said the Superspeedway is in great shape despite sitting idle for almost three years and will require very little work to be ready to again host events. And while IndyCar already is in the picture, Sexton said talk of any return of a racing series sanctioned by NASCAR — the second-level Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series last raced there in July 2011 — isn't yet in the cards. Sexton sees a great match between NASCAR and the Middle Tennessee market but is willing to be patient and work with the racing body to figure out a possible return. In the meantime, there's plenty of opportunity to do other things.
"In the Superspeedway, we didn't see a distressed asset," Sexton said. "It's a perfect fit for what we want to do [and] we expect the track to be open this year and generating revenue again."
Just what all that entails isn't clear yet. Sexton and his team will reveal more details later this summer, but he said the goal is to make the Superspeedway a facility used year round and appeal both to amateur and professional drivers. What is clear, Sexton said, is that the track "will be a motorsports facility as its primary operating model." From there, NeXovation's ventures in the music instrument and music rights sectors will let the company tie in other aspects of its business.