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Report: Proposed Nashville race dumped in advance

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A potential race for either IndyCar or IMSA to be held in Nashville in 2019 isn’t happening, city officials announced Tuesday.

Via The Tennesseean, which was also first to report on the potential of the race itself outside Nissan Stadium earlier this summer, the potential race and city were dealing with both logistical and scheduling issues to make the event a reality.

“In the end, we just felt like there were just too many unanswered questions, especially in regards to the needed infrastructure and, quite honestly, just how do we work around this city’s vigorous special events schedule” Metro Sports Authority Director Monica Fawknotson told the sports authority board on Tuesday. “There’s just so much going on.”

IndyCar raced at the old Nashville Superspeedway, a 1.3-mile concrete oval, from 2001 to 2008.

The potential Nashville race for 2019 had some key people involved with the project, notably veteran Tony Cotman, NZR Consulting director who’s overseen a number of new track designs and serves as race director for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, but ultimately won’t happen.

But after IndyCar’s Boston fiasco for a race that was announced, then cancelled, in a sea of red tape and payouts to fans to refund tickets for a race that never happened, it’s probably better for this race that it never fully got off the ground in the first place.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.