The march of progress can be an ugly thing if it's your pride and joy that's in the way. Fans of the Nashville Fairgrounds, a track which once hosted NASCAR legends like Petty and Earnhardt, are banding together to keep a redevelopment plan at bay. And as the AP notes, they're getting some help from a notable source.
Sterling Marlin and Darrell Waltrip have aligned with Save The Fairgrounds to help protect the track, one of the oldest tracks in the nation. It started as a horseracing track in 1891, and the first cars raced on it in 1904. (A young Mark Martin led a few laps.)
The city is seeking to redevelop the area by moving the fairgrounds' base of operations. Since tracks don't easily move, that would be that for the track. But Marlin, Waltrip and others are part of a group of investors seeking to renovate the fairgrounds and preserve the .596-mile oval.
"We have a jwel right here in Davidson County and a real opportunity to capitalize," Waltrip said in a statement. "I hope we don't miss it."
The track has hosted Nationwide (then Busch) and Truck events, but Nashville's Superspeedway now takes the marquee events. Still, since that track's developer, Dover Downs Entertainment, closed down tracks in Memphis and St. Louis, there's concern that a similar fate could befall Nashville's track. If that were the case, and the fairgrounds closed, Tennessee would have only Bristol as its NASCAR connection.
The Save The Fairgrounds folks have produced a moving video dedicated to their cause. Check it after the jump.
For more info on the fairgrounds, visit SaveMyFairgrounds.com.