Racetrack scoreboard breakdown not the result of vandalism

Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 4:47pm


Spectators had to enjoy the summer’s first auto racing ticket at the Fairgrounds Speedway last weekend without a functioning scoreboard.

Its disrepair led to rumors suggesting vandals targeted the scoreboard and cut the wiring. But the state fair’s director said the rumors are false.

“It’s not true,” Buck Dozier, the Tennessee State Fair’s executive director, said last week. “We do have scoreboard problems. They’re waiting on some parts. We don’t know where the rumors started that it was vandalism.

“It’s broken, but it’s not because of any vandalism,” he added. “There were some wires twisted in there, but that was because of wear.”

Dozier said Thursday that repair workers have determined lightning caused the damage. He said fairgrounds staff has brought in personnel who have fixed the scoreboard in past years to try to repair it again.

Metro’s Board of Fair Commissioners earlier this year agreed to lease the speedway to former NASCAR drivers Chad Chaffin and Bobby Hamilton Jr. Last Saturday, the group held its first of a handful of racing events scheduled over the next few months. The next outing is June 18, billed as a Father’s Day night of racing.

Dozier said approximately 4,000 spectators attended the season’s first event.

As required by the fair board, cars at the speedway must use mufflers to limit the noise heard by neighbors. He said racers followed the muffler mandate.


“It’s a race; they’re still going to create noise,” Dozier said. “But they’re certainly quieter.”    

6 Comments on this post:

By: SouthNashvillian on 6/2/11 at 4:05

Won't be holding my breath for an apology regarding those accusations.

By: Shane Smiley on 6/2/11 at 11:06

The story of the Caution light that disappeared at the exit of turn two has yet to be answered.
It was there during practice on Friday but, missing when the track opened on Saturday.

Jen, When things get posted on the NFP site like the following post, Fingers are going to get pointed.

Neighbors for Progress

TN Fairgrounds supporters seek Metro referendum | The Tennessean | tennessean.com
Supporters have started a petition drive to force a countywide vote on whether Metro should keep all of the current activities at the site.
April 25 at 11:56am · Share

Eric Rust This is such BS. I swear I'm going to resort to vandalism very soon.
April 25 at 1:54pm

Here is another of Mr. Rust's comments

May 16 at 9:58am · Share

Eric Rust: What an incredible jackass, trying to act like he's trying to save that eyesore for "poor" people when he's clearly just a biased redneck race fan. Why do only terrible douche bags go into politics?
May 16 at 11:02am

Mr. Rust is the same person who blasted a Goodlettsville, Davidson county poster saying that he should move the track ( He called it a Piece of trash) to his side of town so he wouldn't have to drive so far after the klan meeting to see cars go around.
You may have removed his comment from the site but, it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

The race community is working hard to be better neighbors. When a threat of vandalism is on your site for weeks on end and then things go missing, who do you think people are going to look at?

By: BigPapa on 6/3/11 at 9:31

So now the Dean is running unopposed, does he activly campaign against the FG or does he just work behind the scenes?
I'd think a smart guy like Dean could articulate the reason why keeping the FG is a bad idea, and why getting rid of it is a good idea. Really he has nothing else to do this campaign season, why not campaign for something you want?

I'm sure behind the scene is a safer road, but an up front open discussion would be nice too. The FG supporters can only say "Ernhardt raced here once!" so many times before people will ask real questions about the viability of that place.

By: fair_minded on 6/3/11 at 5:16

I think that part of the problem here is that many folks are forgetting that all of this is part of the mayor's "divide and conquer" tactics, and that the racetrack is only a portion of the fairgrounds.

keep in mind that there are more flea-market supporters and vendors than there are race proponents... and probably more supporters of the state fair than both of those groups combined. The race fans are perhaps the most vocal group, but don't be fooled into thinking that the 3,000 people who packed the courthouse this past winter, and the tens-of-thousands who wrote and emailed their council members were all race fans.

also remember that combined, the flea market, racetrack, state fair, and other fairground events have a $50-$60 million economic impact each year-- this is about more than simply who created racing history at the track-- it's also about continuing service to the public and economic impact. (and recall that the economic impact is about one half of what the new *Billion* dollar convention center is forecast to bring in)

as stated before, the fairgrounds are the "common man's convention center." This is where small events come-- the guitar show, bead show, antique auto show, Christmas Show, Lawn & Garden Show -- over 270 event days each year-- events that provide entertainment and commerce for *millions* of Tennesseans.... ... and other things such as the emergency horse rescue, the dog rescue, and it's use during the flood to safely park the metro buses and distribute clean water to the community.

Nor is it true that the major financing for the "Preservationists" come from racing interests. It comes from a wide cross-section of the public. Does some of it come from people who live out of the county? Of course it does! Just like any other major venue in Davidson County. It it only stands to reason. Race supporters such as Sterling Marlin and Daryl Waltrip may live across the county line, but they do major business in Davidson County, spending much more than average residents-- so this in itself gives them an interest in events, although those events will be decided only by residents of Davidson County. Compare this to Bud Adams and the investors who own the Preds. How much of their personal money gets spent here? They don't even live *near* Nashville, much less just across the county line. And they take all of their profits home with them!

And compare the fairgrounds to any other Metro owned property. Show us a single one who made a profit last year, much less for the past 100 years! Even with some current financial woes, the fairgrounds out-performs any other Metro facility, and always has. Each year Metro dips into public funds to give millions in financial support to the Titans and the Preds-- two organizations who were sold to the public as profit-centers for Metro. And then of course we have parks and golf course and boat marinas-- all Metro owned, and all a drain on public funds.

But paying for these things with public funds is the reason we have them, and we'd be a poorer community without them. It's just that in over 100 years, the fairgrounds has only contributed and never asked for public funds to provide it's services to the community and for that reason, if no other, it should continue.

In all the talk about referendums, we need to remember that 100 years ago, the voters of Davidson County passed a referendum to purchase a tract of land to serve as a "permanent state fairgrounds." Today, we need to keep the faith with our ancestors.

By: Shane Smiley on 6/3/11 at 5:23

Fair_minded, Very well said!

By: Tinman on 6/4/11 at 8:59

No need for an apology; you all have caused enough trouble already with your ridiculous claims. MOVE. Didn't know there was a racetrack there BEFORE you purchased your house? Lick your wounds, OWN UP TO YOUR LACK OF FORESIGHT, and MOVE, but certainly be adult about it and don't file redundant complaints and lawsuits against a landmark that has existed since long before you were even thought of. Children attempt to make others pay for their mistakes; I would expect reasonable adults to have enough integrity to admit their mistakes. Shall we eliminate the Predators because of the traffic menace it creates for other downtown patrons? How about the proposed ball field? More conjestion. Titans game? Perish the thought!!! I would wager that most of you attend THOSE events, so you don't want anyone getting in that honey bucket, but you somehow feel justified in getting in the honey bucket of those who like something different than you.

Placing restrictions on those who have opposing beliefs than yours is historically significant in Germany. History also proves the structure of that mentality was flawed from the start, allowed to reign for years unchecked, and eventually the world stared in wide eyed wonder and realization that it had allowed a select few to create and enforce a negative impact on a group of people who simply existed without menace. Perhaps that group was aptly titled "Neighbors for Progress of Germany"? The similarities are astounding.............