Fair board taps Hamilton Jr., Chaffin to operate at racetrack

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 6:33pm
Staff reports

The Tennessee State Fair has signed a lease agreement with Fairgrounds Speedway USA, owned by former NASCAR drivers Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Chad Chaffin, to operate the Fairgrounds Speedway for 2011 and 2012, the Metropolitan Board of Fair Commissioners announced Wednesday.

The winning bid was for $8,001 per race, with a minimum guarantee of $53,100 for the entire season.

The lone competing bid was submitted by racing promoter Tony Formosa, the facility’s most recent racetrack operator. 

The terms of the lease, which the fair board approved on April 5, provides for up to seven race events per year, two of which must be held on Flea Market weekends, and one of which must be held during the Tennessee State Fair.

The lease also allows for at least two day races, which must end by 7 p.m., and up to five night events, which must conclude by 10:30 p.m., with the exception of the All American 400 in October. The lease requires all motor vehicles on the racetrack to have properly operating mufflers.

The lease agreement reflects a compromise between the residents of south Nashville neighborhoods near the racetrack and local racing advocates. A Fairgrounds Neighborhood Advisory Committee, made up of two representatives appointed by the fair board and one appointed by the fairgrounds-area district Metro Council member, will be created to meet monthly with Fairgrounds Speedway USA during the May-October racing season. That committee will be named at a later date, the board said.

15 Comments on this post:

By: TITAN1 on 4/20/11 at 5:35

Props to Bobby and Chad! Hope you do well!

By: cl74 on 4/20/11 at 6:00

I thought Sterling was involved in this. Where has he gone to?

By: CrimesDown on 4/20/11 at 6:49

Tony Formosa did so well with the track last year they decided to give it to Chad and Bobby. The track had more fans at every race than there has been in many years. They should have let Tony have it. Bobby has control of two tracks in Middle Tennessee already. He would be one person that would love to see the Fairgrounds Track not succeed.

By: TITAN1 on 4/20/11 at 7:02

CrimesDown, you are so wrong. Bobby has said many times, the more tracks in middle Tennessee the better it is for all the tracks. He wouldn't pay to get to run the track to see it fail. You might be loyal to Tony and might even be friends with him, but don't cut Bobby down in your support of Tony. Tony has done a great job and it wouldn't surprise me if he ended up helping Bobby and Chad.

By: grjack on 4/20/11 at 7:58

hopefully chad and bobby will let tony help to promote it since he is the one who work hard to keep racing alive for the fans and the fairgrounds because if not it's just gonna be a wasted 2 years

By: karlwithak on 4/20/11 at 7:59

Crimes- What you say makes no sense. Bobby has a tote the note lot in Highland Rim and just got a lease on a major car dealership. And you think he wants to run the dealership in the ground to so the tote the note will get it's business ?
Bobby may not be a mensa product but he knows the value of the Fairgrounds.
They didn't give it to anyone, it was a bidding process, highest bid over 5000 per event wins. Tony's bid was 5000. Didn't even make an effort to get the lease with that bid.Tony did a great job last year with the cards dealt and deserves credit for that.

By: wataboutbob on 4/21/11 at 6:16

Let's get it on!

I haven't kept up on this issue over the years however I believe that having racing family names associated with the endeavor will bring back fans such as myself and may even attract more talent from around the region.

By: Hotshoe17 on 4/21/11 at 6:37

Stan H.
Glad to see the Fairgrounds deal worked out. am old friends with both Bobby Jr and Chad (Tony too) and I think they are all great guys who want to see this Sport do very well here in Middle Tennessee.
I am proud to see this Tradition continue. The thing that I can't get out of my mind is, "Did the people who are complaining about the Fairgrounds Speedway not see it when they bought their houses?".
Go Bobby and Chad!!!

By: Captain Nemo on 4/21/11 at 8:34

I am hope that they run more than just locale drivers racing. In the glory days of the track there would have 4 or more big races attracting big name drivers from all over the country. ARACA and ASA racing always got me to the track.

By: PKVol on 4/21/11 at 8:42

It is good to know that the new promoters have a two-year deal. With this comes the responsibility of the race fans to support the events that will take place and act responsibly when they are there. The public is watching and waiting for this to fail, so it is incumbent upon us to make it work.

By: RJP on 4/21/11 at 9:54

rjpSNAP where were we on the bid for the track? for 54.000.00 we could have had a quiet, dark evenings! Like Gail Keer said, pipe down! The mayor and council said two more years of the fair and racing so here we go! Wish there was'nt flea market at same time as racing.Thanks for ruining that for us in the SNAP area. Some of us want 52 weekends for cook outs and being able to talk, Some of us want to be able to be with our family's and freinds at the fairgrounds more than 12 times a year! So us in the South area thank you mayor Dean and council for not giving in to a small group that calls themselves SNAP.Gail is right PIPE DOWN before we get land swapped to the flood plain.Still a little unclear how bringing in a big company that gets big tax breaks or no taxes is helping.Hope Gail can help us with this group of land traders for profit,and the people behind it.Would be nice to know before we vote soon.And for me and mine in the south area, going to enjoy the fairgrounds and everything it has to offer until snapped people take it away.Dear den mother of SNAP if you don't mind can we change our name,don't like being called South Nasayer Angry People .Thanks again Gail

By: BigPapa on 4/21/11 at 1:09

Once the election is over, the track and FG are gone Enjoy the 2 yrs.

By: Hotshoe17 on 4/21/11 at 3:13

Stan H.
To RJP. Was the Fairgrounds and the Speedway there when you bought your house? Did your Realtor tell you that they could get rid of it for you? I live in Nolensville, where there was no Racetrack. Now, I do have Airplanes fly over my house. Should I see if the Air Traffic Controllers could make them stop? Or go somewhere else? It's life.

By: TITAN1 on 4/21/11 at 7:21

Same old BigPapa, if it isn't something to his liking, it shouldn't exist. You sound like sour grapes to me.

By: Shane Smiley on 4/21/11 at 10:10

Keep your eyes and ears open folks,
From what I hear, It is going to be one heck of a show.
Affordable fun for the entire family,
It's time to go Racin' folks!
Hang on, It's going to be exciting!!!
Don't miss it!!!