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.
Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.
There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.
Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.
Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.
By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.
With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.
This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.
Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.
Two privateers have started the season on a high note.
Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.
The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.
Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.
In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.