until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Revised Nashville track to be finale in IndyCar calendar revamp

by Jack Benyon
5 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Nashville will host the IndyCar season finale for the first time in 2024, with a new street circuit taking the race past the iconic Country Music Hall of Fame.

Nashville joined the calendar in 2021 and despite having to organise its first race during a pandemic the event has been lauded as a blueprint for future downtown street races.

The event was facing uncertainty from 2024 due to the Tennessee Titans American football team beginning work on its new stadium – the old stadium and the location where construction will take place being a central part of the current IndyCar track.

With some of that area unavailable, the race organiser had to come up with an altered route, which will still takes in the now well-known Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge that the IndyCars race over, and now adds one of Nashville’s top attractions, the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Being the home of arguably America’s most popular type of music, over a million people visit the Hall of Fame each year.

Differences in the tracks

2021-2023 – 11
2024 – 7

2021-2023 – 2.17-mile
2024 – 2.17-mile

Where the current track goes over the Korean War Veterans’ Bridge and turns left for the Turns 4-8 section that loops back to the Bridge in the opposite direction, the new track will have to detour.

Current track

Fan Map Ga 2.14.23 Scaled

It will not feature any of the Turns 9-3 section outside the Nissan Stadium that it currently does.

Instead of sweeping around the Turn 9 left-hander exiting the bridge, the cars will immediately loop back and come over the bridge in the opposite direction to complete a rectangle around Broadway on the north-west side of downtown, then over the bridge.

New circuit

Mcgp Map Full Size 2023


It’s a shame the circuit has lost Turn 9 as that was a high-speed overtaking point that is wide on the entry but narrow on the exit and encourages some different lines of approach driver-by-driver. The new circuit looks extremely tame, but as with all IndyCar street circuits like the really short Detroit downtown venue, you have to run them on-track to get a sense if they’ll work or not.

Pato O Ward And Scott Dixon Big Machine Music City Grand Prix Fan Fest By James Black Ref Image Without Watermark M67156

The circuit overhaul means IndyCar’s champion will be crowned on the Honky-Tonk Row – a line of small bars which play music out into the famous street – and the series’ awards banquet will be held at the well known Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Artists ranging from Dolly Parton to Harry Styles have played there.

The event has promised a street party after each day of racing in its Broadway district, and has no doubt been boosted by its homegrown star Josef Newgarden winning the Indianapolis 500 this year in terms of its lofty ambitions.

Downtown Nashville Big Machine Music City Grand Prix By Chris Owens Large Image Without Watermark M67960

Tennessee governor Bill Lee said: “As the home state of two-time series champion and current Indianapolis 500 champion, Josef Newgarden, it just makes sense that Tennessee would host one of the biggest races of the season.”

The move is a big coup for IndyCar, getting to end its season at one of its most popular races.

The track has always caused chaos in the races due to its tight nature, but that has always meant an entertaining race at the venue. Scott Dixon won its second edition in 2022.

“Nashville and the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix team are ready to host a can’t-miss, action-packed event that transforms the NTT IndyCar Series season finale and elevates it to an even higher peak on the global stage,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO of IndyCar promoter Penske Entertainment Corp.

“Next year’s race in Nashville will be an unbridled celebration of the most fierce and competitive motorsport on the planet, set against the backdrop of an innovative and breathtaking stage that includes one of the premier global entertainment districts in the world.

Big Machine Music City Grand Prix By Joe Skibinski Large Image Without Watermark M68069

“We’ll have more to share soon on an entire weekend of activities, both on and off track, that fully taps into the growing reach and relevance of an ascendant and marquee city.”

The CEO of the event, Matt Crews, added: “The fact that IndyCar has chosen Nashville and the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix as the crowning event is a testament to our fans, partners, stakeholders and truly the Nashville hospitality industry as a whole.”

The organisers are expecting this year’s race to attract 250,000 spectators. Nashville is one of the fastest growing cities in the area of tourism in the US.

Laguna Seca – this year’s championship finale – has had a considerable amount of work done including being resurfaced for this racing season, and its place is not in doubt on the 2024 IndyCar calendar.

The “beloved, historic venue”, according to Miles, is currently expected to move to a slot in the first half of the season, as early as March, helping to reduce the one-month gap between St Petersburg and Texas Motor Speedway.

Other changes are related to the Olympics, prioritised by NBC which broadcasts IndyCar, so the Paris games take up most of the programming time during late July/early August.

A non-championship Argentina race has been often discussed but does not appear close for 2024 according to The Race’s sources, although there is still time to turn things around.

A race in Brazil is no longer under consideration for 2024 – that was a remote possibility earlier in the season – but the big change could be another oval being added to the calendar.

Motor Racing Izod Indycar Series Round 8, Milwaukee Mile, Milwaukee, Usa

Milwaukee has a long history in American open-wheel racing and organisers are believed to have moved closer to making its return for the first time since 2015 happen for 2024, although The Race’s sources indicate it’s not yet a done-deal.

It could slot in during a three-in-a-row short oval run in August/September, sandwiched by Iowa and Gateway.

Milwaukee’s addition would likely spell the end for the second Indianapolis road course race.

Racing twice at the venue has not been particularly popular with fans, even if a combined event with the NASCAR Cup Series in the last two years has added something different for the August round compared to the May race.

However, as 2024 is the 30 year anniversary of the first Cup Series race on the Indianapolis oval, NASCAR is expected to move back to a one-off visit on the oval next year. That would eliminate the need for an IndyCar/NASCAR double-header.

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