Smooth sailing at the Superspeedway

Jun. 28—Year three of the rebirth of Nashville Superspeedway couldn’t have gone much better, the track’s senior vice president and general manager said on Monday.

Matt Greci, in his first year in charge of the biggest concrete track in NASCAR, said that so many people loved their experience during the three-day tripleheader weekend that the number of renewals for next year have already doubled over this year.

“I would say it’s a resounding success,” Greci said. “We internally have notes, and we’re always looking for continued improvements. But overall, our renewals are way up, which is the indicator for everyone’s coming back in 2024, and that’s what we’re super excited about. That’s our goal (over) the next 365 days.

“It was a great weekend … great team effort. The team came together and executed well.”

Greci said that the renewals are for the general consumer tickets, camping and premium hospitality.

He said that premium sites were added in the infield and trackside sites outside the oval for campers.

“We took some good notes and took some good aerials yesterday and the day before when the campgrounds were packed and loaded in,” Greci said. “We’ve got some more opportunity to give some people good experiences and good set-ups for camping.”

A year after storms marred the Ally 400, this year’s race faced a possible repeat. As it was, the event was moved up approximately 15 minutes and a clear late-June evening greeted the sellout crowd, which was treated to a watermelon-smashing good race as Ross “Melon Man” Chastain won his first Cup race of the season.

“The weather was favorable to us (Sunday),” Greci said. “Maybe the forecast wasn’t. With the 6 p.m. local start time, the grandstand was shaded at that time.

“What we can control was the ability to add more shade structures, as well as more misting areas and free water refill stations. We’re in Middle Tennessee at the tail end of June, and that will bring warm temperatures. But we can mitigate that as much as possible.”

Greci said that there wasn’t an abnormal amount of heat-related issues among fans during the weekend.

“Vanderbilt Health, Vanderbilt Lifeflight is a tremendous partner of ours,” he said. “They’re on top of everything. They plan. They prepare. They’re on-site.”

Traffic back-up before and after the 2021 race was an issue. Parking fees were included in the ticket price last year instead of being collected at the entrance to the parking lots.

“Our ingress was great,” Greci said. “We have great local partnerships with our local officials, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation manage our traffic and help us with our plan. Degress was great. Everybody stayed in the grandstands. They watched until Ross Chastain took that checkered flag for the Ally 400. Degress was still really, really good. Everybody left at the same time but felt like we had a good executing plan.

“(We’re) still monitoring our feedback. We’re always looking to get better. We have our notes … but the exit of all our fans was pretty good.”

Nashville Superspeedway has never released attendance figures, but Greci was asked if 60,000 was a good estimate for Sunday’s race.

“I think that’s a solid estimate,” he said. “The grandstands were packed, our premium camping along the trackside, our premium hospitalities, the infield.

“The industry in the area of Nashville was buzzing. They had parties all along Broadway Saturday night getting ready for the Ally 400.”

Greci would be understandably nervous going into the weekend in case that something may go wrong. However, nothing noteworthy seemed to have negatively taken place.

“I think it exceeded expectations,” he said. “As somebody from the event side, the operations side, the entertainment side, we always look for improvement, and we have plenty of notes. But overall, I feel like the team executed well beyond expectations.”

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