IndyCar season finale moving to Nashville Superspeedway oval from downtown street course

IndyCar: Big Machine Music City Grand Prix
IndyCar: Big Machine Music City Grand Prix

The 2024 NTT IndyCar Series season finale will be moved to Nashville Superspeedway because the new downtown course for the Music City Grand Prix on Sept. 15 will be impacted by construction of the new Tennessee Titans stadium.

IndyCar had announced last summer that the fourth edition of the race through downtown Nashville would be moved to the 2024 finale in conjunction with a new layout that would incorporate the heart of the city's nightlife district on Broadway.

The course previously had included a small section of downtown while running mostly around Nissan Stadium. The new layout still featured sections adjacent to the stadium, including its pit lane and the paddock area for team haulers and equipment.

“With construction set to begin for the new Titans Stadium, the Grand Prix operations team knew they’d be faced with new challenges, knowing that the course used for the first three years would have to change dramatically for 2024’s race," Scott Borchetta, who oversees Music City GP operations as the founder of title sponsor Big Machine, said in a Wednesday morning release announcing the switch to the 1.33-mile oval in Lebanon, Tennessee. "With several key locations around the stadium not available as in years past, and with the proposed course change to run through the streets of downtown Nashville, (a big loop that utilizes the Korean Vets Memorial Bridge, First Avenue, Broadway, Fourth Avenue, and Korean Vets Blvd), we simply don’t have the proper space needed by the race teams nor the proper access for downtown businesses and residences to execute the world-class event that is expected by our amazing fans, IndyCar teams, and sponsors.

"With the significant challenges of the proposed new layout and unknowns with the new stadium construction, which has been the center of operations for the first three years of the Grand Prix, the decision has been made to move the 2024 race to the Nashville Superspeedway.

IndyCar: Big Machine Music City Grand Prix
IndyCar: Big Machine Music City Grand Prix

Why the IndyCar season finale is moving to Nashville on a new downtown street course

The 2024 IndyCar season will end in Nashville on an updated layout for the Music City Grand Prix.

"This has no bearing on our great relationship with the Tennessee Titans. The team’s management has been nothing but supportive regarding the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix and we fully intend to continue conversations with them and the City of Nashville as to when the right time will be to return to the streets of Nashville. We also want to underline how supportive Metro and new Mayor Freddie O’Connell and his team have been during this transition."

The Music City Grand Prix in downtown Nashville has been scheduled to become the third street race to play host to the finale since 2020 but the first by design – St. Petersburg (2020) and Long Beach ('21) both concluded the season because of pandemic disruptions to the schedule.

The IndyCar season had concluded at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca the past two seasons. From 2015-23, IndyCar had scheduled its finale at northern California road courses, first at Sonoma Raceway and then Laguna Seca.

Nashville Superspeedway will become the first oval to close the IndyCar season in a decade. From 2003-14, the series had concluded its seasons on ovals that included Texas Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

IndyCar raced at Nashville Superspeedway from 2001-08. After being dormant in national racing series for several years, the 1.33-mile concrete oval returned to the NASCAR Cup Series schedule in 2021 after becoming part of the Speedway Motorsports portfolio.

“Nashville Superspeedway is ideally suited to our highly competitive and extremely intense style of racing and we look forward to adding a Speedway Motorsports track to our schedule,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “Our fans will eagerly anticipate watching a championship be decided on a high-speed oval, with NBC providing a must-see network telecast to viewers around the country. Scott and his team will do a terrific job organizing our finale weekend, and I’m incredibly appreciative of their efforts to pivot and find a fitting venue for our fans, drivers and teams.”

Said Speedway Motorsports president Marcus Smith: "This is fantastic news for race fans, Nashville, the NTT IndyCar SEries and Nashville Superspeedway. This partnership is a natural fit amongst our companies, and

I am grateful for the faith that Roger (Penske), Scott (Borchetta) and INDYCAR have placed in us to host their season finale.

When we acquired Nashville Superspeedway in 2021, hosting events like the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix was part of our vision. Speedway Motorsports always wants to expand our event calendar with exceptional entertainment for fans that also increases economic impact for the entire Middle Tennessee region.”

The Indy NXT Series also will hold its season finale at Nashville Superspeedway.