Spectators had to enjoy the summer’s first auto racing ticket at the Fairgrounds Speedway last weekend without a functioning scoreboard.
Its disrepair led to rumors suggesting vandals targeted the scoreboard and cut the wiring. But the state fair’s director said the rumors are false.
“It’s not true,” Buck Dozier, the Tennessee State Fair’s executive director, said last week. “We do have scoreboard problems. They’re waiting on some parts. We don’t know where the rumors started that it was vandalism.
“It’s broken, but it’s not because of any vandalism,” he added. “There were some wires twisted in there, but that was because of wear.”
Dozier said Thursday that repair workers have determined lightning caused the damage. He said fairgrounds staff has brought in personnel who have fixed the scoreboard in past years to try to repair it again.
Metro’s Board of Fair Commissioners earlier this year agreed to lease the speedway to former NASCAR drivers Chad Chaffin and Bobby Hamilton Jr. Last Saturday, the group held its first of a handful of racing events scheduled over the next few months. The next outing is June 18, billed as a Father’s Day night of racing.
Dozier said approximately 4,000 spectators attended the season’s first event.
As required by the fair board, cars at the speedway must use mufflers to limit the noise heard by neighbors. He said racers followed the muffler mandate.
“It’s a race; they’re still going to create noise,” Dozier said. “But they’re certainly quieter.”