Promoter cancels year's final race at fairgrounds speedway

Monday, October 24, 2011 at 1:20pm

Racing at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in 2011 appears to be over, as racing promoter Bobby Hamilton Jr. has canceled the All American 400, originally scheduled for this weekend.

Tennessee State Fair Director Buck Dozier said he received notification two weeks ago that the weekend race wouldn’t be happening. The All American 400 was supposed to conclude the track’s seven-race season.

“He has decided he could not work out a deal with the All American 400,” Dozier told The City Paper, referring to Hamilton. “He just couldn’t work out a financial deal.”

Hamilton, with whom the board contracted to hold racing events through 2012, did not immediately return a voicemail.

In recent weeks, Hamilton had a $750 check bounce that was to go to the fair board for the rental of office space. Dozier said Hamilton immediately paid the board the sum in cash.

Under Metro policy following the bouncing of a check, Dozier said a collections agency enters the picture. Dozier said Metro attorneys are still deciding whether subsequent rental payments are to be made to the agency or the fair board. Thus, Hamilton still owes the board $14,486 for the previous month’s track rental fee.

“We’re still deciding whether he pays us or them, Dozier said. “He’s had the money for over a week to pay that off.”

Dozier relayed what Hamilton told him regarding the check’s bouncing: 

“This is what he says. This is his wording not mine: He had merchandise stolen at his racetrack up in Highland Rim. And when it was stolen, he had to have that equipment to race, and insurance wouldn’t pay it off immediately. He went to his bank, and his bank was going to charge too much interest. He swapped banks, and in the process of swapping banks, the check bounced. That’s his story.”

Dozier said he learned the All American 400 would be canceled prior to discovering Hamilton’s check had bounced.  

37 Comments on this post:

By: whitetrash on 10/24/11 at 12:24

At least Bobby Hamilton put himself and his own money out there. What Hamilton did is much more than the blow hards like Shane Smiley, Ronnie Campbell, and Jamie Hollin just to name a few have done. I think Hamilton will do a much better job next year at the Fairgrounds Speedway. Thanks Little Bobby for your efforts.

By: JakeNashville on 10/24/11 at 1:05

I know of three occassions that people have tried to sponsor race cars or events and no one will return calls or send us information. So, it isn't surprising that the last race was cancelled. It seems to be a VERY CLOSED GROUP OF PEOPLE who are allowed to participate in helping carry on these events so our company spent sponsor dollars elsewhere.

By: Doveplayer on 10/24/11 at 1:09

Hamilton won't be at the Fairgrounds next year if we have anything to say about it.
One season, that is all it took for Bobby to ruin years of hard work. I don't give a tinkers damn whose money he used, Not when he steals from the track, won't pay the drivers, won't or can't pay his tire bill and can't live up to his obligations as track promoter. This has been the sorriest season EVER in Fairgrounds history. All in thanks to our mayor, HIS Fair Board (who doesn't have sense enough to pour piss out of a boot), and last but certainly not least, Bobby Hamilton Jr.
So, yeah, Thanks for nothing, Bobby.

@whitetrash, you certainly do point a lot of fingers at a lot of very hard working individuals. I have worked along side Jamie and Ronnie and Shane and am proud to call them friends. Few have worked harder than Ronnie and Shane to save the Fairgrounds. But tell me, where was your little fat buddy Bobby while the rest of us were out trying to save the track so he could ruin it? Well, where was he? Why wasn't he out with the rest of us trying to save it?
Bobby has pissed off everyone he has come in contact with, burned the Fair Board on a bad check, is behind now in his payments to the Fair Board, the Ken-Ten late model series won't do business with him, the CRA late model series (who run the All American 400) won't do business with him and many drivers refuse to trust him enough to pay them to drive at Highland Rim or Fairgrounds Speedway.
Now, what does THAT tell you about Bobby Hamilton Jr? Maybe if you get up off your knees in front of him you could see the facts.

By: Doveplayer on 10/24/11 at 1:13

@Jake, don't give up on the Fairgrounds. It WILL be back and will definitely accept sponsor money and help direct you to drivers/ teams who could use sponsor money. The racers are fed up with Hamilton, as are the fans. Watch facebook for Fairgrounds news. The Save My Fairgrounds site is good as is the Tennessee State Fairgrounds Racing History page. Both are excellent sources for current Fairgrounds news that is not filtered!

By: las04 on 10/24/11 at 2:30 get an Amen from me. We have invested to much time and OUR own money to let that troll take us down the path of destruction like the mayor wanted. I'm still not convinced that the mayor and Bobby didn't do this as another manipulated act of failure. "Lil Bobby" you and your wife are an embarrassment and injustice to the world of racing. Get out of here while you can, we don't want you that's for sure.

By: pswindle on 10/24/11 at 3:38

Dean will get his way one way or the other especialy when he has the Fair Board on his side. They could have made it work beautifully, but they were only following instructions from the great one.

By: jimmie on 10/24/11 at 4:19

By: whitetrash on 10/24/11 at 1:24
At least Bobby Hamilton put himself and his own money out there. What Hamilton did is much more than the blow hards like Shane Smiley, Ronnie Campbell, and Jamie Hollin just to name a few have done. I think Hamilton will do a much better job next year at the Fairgrounds Speedway. Thanks Little Bobby for your efforts.

Whitetrash you don't know much shane smiley was bobby jr's partner this year and helped run the whole deal.

By: Shane Smiley on 10/24/11 at 4:34

Jimmy, I was in no way, shape, or form a partner in the lease with Bobby.
I was able to secure some sponsorship for the track and helped in any way I was asked.
My goal has remained the same, help preserve the Fairgrounds.

As for whitetrash's comments. Whitetrash most likely works for a P.R.firm or the administration.
Do a search at the top of the page for whitetrash comments. Info not readily available to the public shows up in the comments. This person is connected.

By: Shane Smiley on 10/24/11 at 4:54

Here is how Whitetrash usually posts concerning the Fairgrounds. Funny how Whitetrash is suddenly a fan of Bobby.

By: whitetrash on 10/6/11 at 12:05
Due us all a favor an nuke the fairgrounds.

There was an estimated crowd of 200 at the last fairgrounds speedway race. What happened Mr. Smily? I thought Mike Curb and the Big Machine Records guy had your back? No one was defeated in the August referendum because there wasn't any organized opposition. Face it the Fairgrounds Speedway is on life support and is fading fast. It might be time for you to jump ship and find another local racetrack to support.

Racer84 if the area around the fairgrounds is so bad then that is all the more reason to move the fairgrounds out and put something that will benefit and help the community more in. Obviously the fairgrounds is not doing anything to help this area of Nashville and given your reasoning the fairgrounds needs to be in a safer part of the County so move the fairgrounds.

bfra the shooting happened on the fairgrounds property as people were leaving the fair. Here is the email the police department sent out.

Date: Saturday 9/10/2011
Precinct: South
Detail: C-Shift, Patrol
Major Event Information
* Significant Incident *
Aggravated assault in the area of the state fairgrounds. Police responded to an area ON THE FAIRGROUNDS regarding a shots fired call. Due to weather and large crowds, initial findings were minimal. Further investigation located several spent shells. The ID unit responded to collect the evidence and Youth Services detectives responded to a local hospital. The victim sustained non life threatening injuries.

This person is only here to stir the pot and pander false information.

By: SouthNashvillian on 10/24/11 at 5:24

Yep, it's all a conspiracy. There's just no possible way that the fairgrounds track or the state fair would have failed on it's own. Everyone's in Dean's pocket, especially people who post on the City Paper articles...I mean really, everyone knows how much pull these comments have on actually getting anything done. Obviously the powers that be have plenty of money to throw towards annonymous people with nothing else to do than post comments, research old comments, and copy and paste comments from other articles. Obviously.

By: racer84 on 10/24/11 at 7:38

Southnashvillian if you look at the facts related to every decision the fair board has made the last 4 years and how it affected the property it is very clear its these poor decisions that continue to plague the property.

Of course I've read through hundreds of pages of the financials from the last 15 years and 3,000 pages of internal emails....not to mention 10 years of council meetings fair board meetings, every race for the last 15 years (minus less than 5 or so).....And talked face to face with about 20,000 Nashville residents....I have zero reason to make up what's wrong....the proof is beyond overwhelming. Its public information. If u cared you would have done the same research....fact is those opposed to the fairgrounds refuse to do so because it exposes their arguments to be wrong.

So excuse me for telling you that I'm far more qualified than you to say what the problems are....but its true.

By: racer84 on 10/24/11 at 7:43

Southnashvillian is to naive to know MP&f actually pays people to post comments online.

James Weaver admitted he pays for the same services as well as his own anonymous message board postings.

I don't mind that people know my real name is Ronnie Campbell. I'm telling the truth so no reason to hide. I can back everything up unlike others.

Spin that

By: las04 on 10/24/11 at 8:22

@jimmie.....Bobby didn't use his money, he used his Daddy's money.

By: Doveplayer on 10/24/11 at 8:57

I'm with ya, Ronnie. We ain't giving up, brother. I keep telling folks you and Shane are NOT the enemy., that you have worked as hard or harder than anyone in helping save the fairgrounds. I knew we were in trouble after the first race this season, but at Shane's request, I backed off to let things see if they would work out. They did not and neither Shane nor myself nor everyone that has helped us could feel more betrayed by a so-called racer.
I'm not letting up on Bobby, that's for sure. I was at the flea market Saturday and let everyone I talked to know how much we wanted them there. The vendors are good people. I told them what was going on with the Fairgrounds and with the track. Some of them keep up with it all and some don't. I want to see the Fairgrounds as a whole succeed. Not just the track. I did some quick figuring and believe the Flea Market brought in at least a half million dollars just his weekend alone. That's money in the Fair Board's coffers. Now they aren't broke anymore! Wonder what Buck has to say about that?
Thank you, Ronnie, and Shane. Without you, we might have lost a long time ago. Tony Jr deserves a lot of credit as well. Between you all, and the rest of the Red Army, we will win
. Anyone wants to know my name, I'll be glad to tell them. Some of you already do. I've got nothing to hide either. You can find me all over facebook.
Winston Tucker

By: boyer barner on 10/24/11 at 9:02

White Trash is a troll. Most likely, he is paid by McNeely, Piggott & Fox. Or he is a Dean insider with nothing better to do.

Too bad he can't post his real name like Smiley and Campbell do.

Too bad he's gotta pick on Jamie Hollin (someone who cares about out city is willing to put up a fight).

Fact is, the people of Nashville want to keep the fairgrounds and raceway.

I look forward to our new and improved fairgrounds and nationally recognized raceway.

It's gonna happen.

By: Shane Smiley on 10/24/11 at 9:38

By: SouthNashvillian on 10/24/11 at 6:24
"Yep, it's all a conspiracy. There's just no possible way that the fairgrounds track or the state fair would have failed on it's own. Everyone's in Dean's pocket, especially people who post on the City Paper articles...I mean really, everyone knows how much pull these comments have on actually getting anything done. Obviously the powers that be have plenty of money to throw towards annonymous people with nothing else to do than post comments, research old comments, and copy and paste comments from other articles. Obviously."

Wow! Congratulations SouthNashvillian! I am glad to see you have removed your blinders and have begun to see the Fairgrounds conspiracy for what it is.
This is hands down, your most in tune, correct post yet!
I especially like your statement: "There's just no possible way that the fairgrounds track or the state fair would have failed on it's own." You must have finally sat down and taken a real hard look at the Fairgrounds financials over the past decade.
Amazing what the truth reveals, isn't it?

Congratulations again! You have found the truth and the truth shall set you free!!

By: Shane Smiley on 10/24/11 at 9:44

PS, Ronnie knows what he is talking about. He has done more research and been more active in trying to save the Fairgrounds than almost anyone else out there. He has facts to back up what he says. To lie is not necessary.

By: whitetrash on 10/25/11 at 2:08

Shane Smiley :) There's only one problem, Ronnie Campbell doesn't live in Davidson County and both of you are drinking the purple kool aid that this is somehow some big consirpacy. If you want to see the fairgrounds speedway continue put your own money into. After all you all know everything about the fairgrounds speedway and how to promote a race. Ronnie Campbell has researched and studied all the issues from the past 15 years. Yep with all your knowledge and expertise you all should have no problem running a successful farigrounds speedway. Mr. Smiley are you a renter or home owner in Davidson County?

jimmie, don't let Shane Smiley fool you he was in Hamilton and Chaffin's ear from the begining of this racing season. Smiley spoke at press conferences and was interviewed for television for the fairgrounds speedway.

Bobby Hamilton will do just fine next year without distractions like Smiley and all his promises to bring in Curb and Big Machine recording artisst to perform concerts before and after the races.

By: bfra on 10/25/11 at 6:36

whitetrash - Why does it matter where Ronnie Campbell lives? Are only Davidson Countians supposed to be interested in & attend events at the Fairgrounds? Narrow minds never think outside their own bubble!

By: BigPapa on 10/25/11 at 6:55


Time to close it down, bring in the bulldozers and raze that dump of a FG and joke of a track.

By: tenn.Big Dog on 10/25/11 at 7:04


By: localboy on 10/25/11 at 8:01

Would have loved to have read your post, tenn.Big Dog, but I couldn't hear myself think over all the shouting...caps lock, big guy, caps lock...

By: Shane Smiley on 10/25/11 at 1:42

Whitetrash, If you don't believe the Mayor and Rich Reibeling have conspired to dismantle the Fairgrounds financially, You are drowning in Karl-aid! Mr Reibeling took the idea of redeveloping the Fairgrounds to Mayor Purcell when Rich was on the Fair board. He was told to leave the property alone, it is the peoples land. Fast forward a few years and he is in a position to doom the place.
Ask Mr. Reibeling how he presented a balanced budget to the City Council and by divine intervention? The balanced budget somehow became a 1 Million dollar loss. Not just a typo. The board actually spent the money causing the loss.

As for Mr. Campbell not living in Davidson County, What's your point. We are in the process f spending nearly a Billion Dollars on the MCC to bring people into our county from other places. Why? To get them to spend money in our county. Mr. Campbell spends money in our county. You should be thanking him.

As far as me owning property in Nashville, What do you care if I own or rent. Either way I pay property tax.

As far as bringing artists to the track. We have done so for the National Anthem. Not only A Big Machine development artist but, a American Idol contestant as well.
The concerts have not panned out due to time constraints imposed by the contract but, I'm still working on some things for the 2012 season.

By: macjedi on 10/25/11 at 3:52

Another sign of the flailing and desperate dying lurches of this eyesore.

By: racer84 on 10/25/11 at 10:25

Funny how larry atema not being a Davidson county resident never is mentioned but with me is a huge issue.

Google him. He makes $20,000 per MONTH. Metro officials don't Dole out jobs and contracts to friends based on what county they live in.

By: BigPapa on 10/26/11 at 7:25

Repeat after me: "You can't fight City Hall."
Dean is a) smarter than anyone involved with the save the Fg issue, more well financed, and ultimately much much more powerful. He'll win this issue.

By: bruingeek on 10/26/11 at 8:16

There is so much drama here. Perhaps Nashville should cash in a produce a TV reality show, "Race Track Blues".

By: Doveplayer on 10/26/11 at 9:27

macjedi, more blah, blah,blah. Is that ALL you can say, it's an eyesore? Just who's fault is that? Tell me, smart guy, who is responsible for the upkeep of the Fairgrounds? The very people your crooked assed mayor put in place to make sure it failed. The Fair Board. Not the track lease holder, not the flea market vendors, but the Fair Board. If it's an eyesore, go complain to them. NEXT!

BigPapa, we can and WILL fight city hall. Dean has thought all along he is smarter than we are, but every time he opens his mouth, he lies again. He doesn't own the property and he can't buy or give away the property that is the Fairgrounds. Oh, he wishes he could, but he can't. The crooked assed lawyer that Boston didn't want anymore thinks he is smarter than a bunch of redneck racers and race fans. That's why he became a lawyer, he ain't too bright.

whitetrash (what an appropriate name!)
I'm pretty sure Ronnie does live in Davidson county. Last time I looked, Bellevue was still a part of NASHVILLE.
What difference does it make where you live to support the Tennessee STATE Fairgrounds? Not the Woodbine Fairgrounds, or the Nashville Fairgrounds, but the State Fairgrounds. Big difference. People come from many other cities and states to enjoy what they have to offer there. If you can't find something to enjoy there, you aren't trying. While you're at it, if you are miserable in the neighborhood, which I really doubt seriously that you live there anyway, you should move to Belle Meade so you can be near your buddy Karl.
The naysayers have the same old arguments. Can't you come up with something original for a change?
Many thousands of people come from many different places to enjoy the State Fairgrounds, I am obviously one of them and have been since childhood. The property was donated to the city to be the State Fairgrounds. Not an office park, not low rent housing, not a neighborhood 40 acre park (there are other parks nearby) and certainly not a theme park. Until Karl Dean became mayor this worked out very well. Actually, Rich Reibeling has had designs on the Fairgrounds property for several years now, but didn't have anyone in power to help him. Now he has Dean on his side. Ask yourselves why does Rich Reibeling want the Fairgrounds property so bad? Better yet, ask him. Bet he doesn't answer.
No, we will win, because we are in the right and we refuse to give up. The Fair Board has mismanaged the Fairgrounds nearly into the ground. This cannot continue unchecked. Who appoints the Fair Board? Why. the mayor does. Anyone else see a pattern starting to develop here? If so, join the Red Army and lets fight these crooks.

By: whitetrash on 10/26/11 at 11:04

Doveplayer you ain't got the sense God gave a turnip green.

By: BigPapa on 10/26/11 at 12:37

"Who appoints the Fair Board? the mayor does."

Wow, after all that long diatribe I'm glad you finally realized why I was right and you are so very wrong. Re-read my post and it will bring you back to this (brief) moment of clarity.

By: Shane Smiley on 10/26/11 at 6:33

Big Papa,
We didn't pick this fight.
City Hall picked this fight.
As of now, the people have won most rounds in the fight to Save the Fairgrounds.
The voting public has spoken loudly with 71% of voters agreeing to keep the current functions of the property and making it harder for the property to be redeveloped.
I'd say we are holding our own in this fight.
Once again, We didn't pick this fight. We were bullied into battle.
Quitting is not an option.
I'm sure you would love it if we would all quit. Sorry to disappoint you.
Que Whitetrash, programmed response.

By: lisaleeds2008 on 10/26/11 at 7:06

well now i agree with the save my Fairgrounds people and saving the Fairgrounds die not come with out a price. i sorry to hear about the race. i guess life will go on.

By: whitetrash on 10/26/11 at 11:32

Yes, Shane Smiley things are going great for the save my fairgrounds folks.
Terrible State Fair with poor attendance!.
Awful racing season and you should accept some of the blame for that!
Karl Dean in office for 4 more years.
Majority of progressive minded council folks elected to office.
Nashville is growing and will continue to grow in the Core of the CIty.

Yep. I would say you all are "Winning"!

By: SouthNashvillian on 10/27/11 at 6:17

Yep, "winning" the Charlie Sheen kind of way.

Smiley the SMF folks love throwing that stat around, but you are confused - only 15% of registered voters chose to mark their ballot to alter the metro charter, which does NOT in and of itself "save" anything.

Over 78% of voters didn't even bother to show up on voting day. You know why? Because most of Nashville does NOT CARE about the fairgrounds!!! They could care less if they go or stay. How can you not see that?

By: Shane Smiley on 10/27/11 at 11:35


By your way of thinking, Over 75% of the voters don't care about local elections at all. They could care less who is Mayor or on the City Council. How can you not see that?
The voters who are engaged voted to keep the current functions of the property and making it harder for the property to be redeveloped.
The voters have spoken, LOUDLY!!! I don't hear you trying to water down the Mayor or Council's validity due to the low voter turn out. How is it, you find the charter amendment validity watered down?
The referendum passed, it has been signed into law. No quotations next to it saying it is less of a law because of a low voter turn out.
You have been pawning this week argument since the 5th of August. Today is October 27th. Your arguement still holds no water.

Whitetrash, The two leases were received very late in the game. Both the track and the Fair were hampered by the
Fair?board taking so long to award contracts. This hobbled the programs from the word go. Add a lazy promoter with personality issues and you have a real uphill battle for success. The cards are being stacked against the Fairgrounds. We know this, you know this.
If you think we are quitting, giving up, throwing in the towel, or not working to preserve and upgrade the Fairgrounds, you would be sadly mistaken.

By: whitetrash on 10/27/11 at 12:45

Shane Smiley you're starting to sound about as smart as doveplayer. The fairgrounds ref. was suppose to bring out a huge percent of voters and it didn't. Thats why all the Save My Fairgrounds folks like Jakes, Crafton, Crawford, and Coleman lost council at large races. Michael Craddock got out of the Mayor's race because he knew the fairgrounds ref was not going to put a dent in the Dean Machine. Mayor Dean ran basically uncontested so his people really didn't have to come out to vote. There was no organized opposition to defeat the fairgrounds ref. We're glad you all are "Winning" and please keep "Winning". You're really making it easy for us the losers! We don't have to do anything but sit back and watch the core of Nashville continue to grow and watch you all continue to mess up. BTW thanks for passing the ref because you all now have to have 27 votes as well to do anything with the fairgrounds property. We don't quit or give up either!

By: SouthNashvillian on 10/27/11 at 1:45

Yep....what WT said.

Smiley I am not saying anything has less validity because of low voter turnout, but I do take serious issue when people throw around statistics incorrectly. If you had said "71% of voters WHO VOTED IN THE LAST ELECTION agreed to keep the current functions of the property and making it harder for the property to be redeveloped" I wouldn't have said a word. But facts are facts, and the fact is that only 15% of Davidson county TOTAL VOTERS voted to keep the status quo.