Dover Motorsports Inc. releases earnings report, sets sale of Nashville Superspeedway for end of February

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Dover Motorsports Inc. released its fourth quarter and yearly earnings report Thursday.

Because there were no major events at the track in the fourth quarter from October through December, revenue was just $157,000, up from $129,000 in the same quarter the previous year.

For the overall fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, 2014, the track reported income of $45,674,000, compared to $46,180,000 the previous year. The decrease was attributed to lower admissions and event related revenue partially offset by higher broadcasting revenues.

Net earnings were up by more than one million dollars year-over-year. DMI had net earnings of $3,145,000, compared to $2,024,000 in 2013.

DMI is one of only three track ownership groups (the other being Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway) that host NASCAR events other than International Speedway Corp., and Speedway Motorsports Inc.

One of the most significant aspects of the report concerned the pending sale of Nashville Superspeedway.

Dover Motorsports will receive $27 million when the sale of Nashville Superspeedway is concluded, which is expected to occur at the end of February.

The group that plans on making the purchase, NeXovation, Inc., recently paid a non-refundable $1.7 million to DMI, to be applied to the eventual purchase price of the Gladeville, Tenn., track and surrounding facilities.

NeXovation Inc. also will assume $18.8 million of the track’s bond obligations to Wilson County, where the track is located. That would make the entire deal worth $45.8 million.

The closing deadline for the sale of the track has been extended three times, the most recent being in late December. NeXovation announced last May that it had reached agreement to purchase the track.

NeXovation officials have said they plan on using the track and its surrounding area year-round and hope to eventually bring NASCAR racing – most likely either the Xfinity Series or Camping World Truck Series – back to the speedway.

Last June, NeXovation president Robb Sexton, said he planned on also reaching out to IndyCar for a possible race return to the track.

After 11 years of holding a number of races, there have been no races at Nashville Superspeedway for more than three years.

NeXovation also reportedly plans to develop a potential drag strip, dirt track and short track that were included in original blueprints for the facility.

“We plan to develop the entire facility,” Sexton told the Lebanon (Tenn.) Democrat last June. “We have a comprehensive business plan that involves using the track 52 weeks a year, with a primary emphasis on the motorsports community. Our focus is on a motorsports identity.”

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Jimmie Johnson won’t race full time in 2023; leaves open possibility of returning at Ganassi

Jimmie Johnson race 2023
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images
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Though he remains uncertain of his plans for next year, Jimmie Johnson won’t race full time in 2023, scaling back his schedule after running a full 17-race NTT IndyCar Series season.

“This was a difficult choice for me, but in my heart, I know it’s the right one,” Johnson said in a statement Monday morning. “I’m not exactly sure what the next chapter holds, but if an opportunity comes along that makes sense, I will consider it. I still have a bucket list of racing events I would like to take part in. Competing at this level in IndyCar has been such a great experience.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better team to race for than Chip Ganassi and Chip Ganassi Racing. Everyone worked extremely hard for the last two seasons, pushing to get the best performances out of me every single week. The support from my crew and teammates Dario (Franchitti), Scott (Dixon), Tony (Kanaan), Marcus (Ericsson) and Alex (Palou) went above and beyond anything I could have ever asked for.”

WHAT’S NEXT FOR JIMMIE JOHNSON: An analysis of his racing options for the 2023 season

Driving the No. 48 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, Johnson ranked 21st in the 2022 points standings with a career-best fifth place July 24 at Iowa Speedway.

After running only road and street courses for Ganassi in 2021, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion added ovals this year. In his Indy 500 debut, he qualified 12th and finished 28th after a late crash.

“I do have a desire to go back (to IndyCar), it’s just at this point, I know what’s required to do a full schedule, and I don’t have that in me,” Johnson told AP. “I don’t have that passion that I need for myself to commit myself to a full season.”

That leaves open the concept of Johnson returning part time with Ganassi, perhaps exclusively on ovals.

“We are fully supportive of Jimmie,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a statement. “He has been a valued member of our team and if we can find a way to continue working together, we would like to do so.”

During IndyCar’s season finale race weekend, Johnson told reporters Sept. 9 that he planned to explore his options with wife Chandra and daughters Evie and Lydia. Johnson told the Associated Press that his family is considering living abroad for a year or two, and he has toyed with the idea of running in the World Endurance Championship sports car series because of its international locales.

Johnson hasn’t ruled out IndyCar, IMSA sports cars or even a cameo in NASCAR next year. Since retiring from full-time NASCAR after the 2020 season, he has entered the endurance races of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac (including Saturday’s Petit Le Mans season finale). Johnson also wants to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and is a prime candidate for the Garage 56 entry (a joint project of NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports).

Johnson told the AP he is interested in becoming the latest driver to try “The Double” and run both the Coca-Cola 600 and Indy 500 on the same day (the most recent was Kurt Busch in 2014).

“You know me and endurance sports, and ‘The Double’ sounds awesome,” Johnson, a four-time Coke 600 winner, told AP. “I’ve always had this respect for the guys who have done ‘The Double.’ I would say it is more of a respect thing than a bucket-list item, and I’d love to put some energy into that idea and see if I can pull it off.”

It is less likely that he would return to IMSA’s endurance events because its top prototype series is being overhauled, limiting the amount of inventory available for the new LMDh cars in the rebranded GTP division.

Johnson has confirmed that he would retain primary sponsor Carvana, which has backed him in IndyCar the past two years. He revealed his decision Monday during the last episode of “Reinventing the Wheel,” Carvana Racing’s eight-part docuseries about his 2023 season.

“I’m thankful for the partnership with a company like Carvana for allowing me to take this journey in IndyCar, for seeing the value in our partnership and being open to future opportunities together,” Johnson said. “They have truly showed me that there are no finish lines in life. Along with Carvana, The American Legion, Ally, cbdMD and Frank August were there every step of the way, and I couldn’t have done it without all of them. Most importantly — and the true rockstars in all of this –my family, Chani, Evie and Lydia. They have always allowed me to chase my dreams, and we are all just really excited about what the future holds for all of us. I have enjoyed every minute of these last two years.”

Said Carvana co-founder Ryan Keeton: “During the past two years, Jimmie Johnson has been so amazing to collaborate with. Our team admires his passion, hard work and commitment to continuous improvement while also having fun, and we look forward to continuing to support him next year in this new chapter.”