What Cup champion Kyle Larson said about NASCAR returning to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway

·3 min read

Before Kyle Larson blew away the competition in the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway he was blown away by the rabid fan support for racing he witnessed in the Music City.

"We stayed in Nashville close to Broadway and there was so many race fans cruising up and down the streets, in bars and pretty much everywhere," Larson said Wednesday. "It was neat to see and I hope it can continue to be as big as it was."

The fan base will likely continue to grow after Mayor John Cooper announced Tuesday he has agreed in principle to Bristol Motor Speedway's proposal to bring a NASCAR Cup Series race back to the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

If the deal is approved by the Board of Fair Commissioners and Metro Council it means two NASCAR Cup Series races will be run in the Nashville area in the future.

After winning the Ally 400 in June, Larson went on to claim the NASCAR Cup Series championship and was back in Nashville for the NASCAR Awards Ceremony at Music City Center on Thursday night.

Larson is confident the Nashville area is capable of supporting two NASCAR Cup races. Nashville Superspeedway, which is in Lebanon, and the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway are located 35 miles from each other.

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"Nashville has so many music fans and fans of music are also fans of NASCAR and just the atmosphere here throughout town gives you a good feel," Larson said.

"When we had the banquet here a couple of years ago and then the race at Nashville Superspeedway the town was really wild and really amped up. I also think all of us drivers and team members really enjoy coming here as well."

Larson, 29, will have a place in Nashville racing history since his win at Nashville Superspeedway in June came in the first NASCAR Cup Series race in the Nashville area since 1984.

It was Larson's third straight points-paying victory of the year. He went on to clinch the championship title with a record 10 wins.

The Elk Grove, California, native said his win at Nashville Superspeedway, where he crossed the finish line ahead of second-place Ross Chastain by 4.335 seconds, helped propel him to the championship.

"That was at a great point in the year when we had a lot of momentum," Larson said. "Our team was just performing at a high level and we were able to carry that momentum throughout the rest of the year. Then finally when we got to the playoffs again we were really strong and won half of the last 10 races there."

Larson said being back for the NASCAR Awards Ceremony as the champion is much different than when he was here in 2019 after finishing sixth in the standings with only one win.

"Your mornings are a lot earlier because you're having to do pictures and interviews and stuff like that," he said. "But I would rather be busy during champions week with all the champions stuff than not busy."

Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: NASCAR Cup Series champ Kyle Larson: Nashville can support two races

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