NCS: Night time is the right time in Nashville according to drivers

It’s no secret that it’s that time of year where the temperatures are high this time of year, and that was certainly the case for Nashville Superspeedway this weekend. But with only four cautions and 12 different leaders throughout the three hour long Ally 400, is the night time the right time for racing in Nashville? Some drivers gave their thoughts. 

“The track is slicker in the day time and you’ll probably have a bit more passing,” stated Denny Hamlin after finishing third and leading 81 of 300 laps Sunday afternoon, “but we’re stuck with the package right now with the shifting. That makes it really really tough to pass, between that and the tires. There’s no way the fans would have survived sitting through a day race today, soi I think night racing is the way to go.” 

Busch, who had an interesting weekend after spinning out in Friday’s practice and a flat tire early in the first stage, stated his opinion in a laughing matter by saying, “Were you outside today? You want to race in that? You can have my seat. Hell no – night race for sure.” He continued on by saying, “I wasn’t actually hot today. I got out of the car and it was hotter when I was outside. It wasn’t bad out there inside the car today. There was a lot of green flag racing today.” 

The inaugural running of the Ally 400 in 2021 was run during the day time, and ‘22’s race was supposed to until rain pushed majority of the race to run during the evening hours. This year was the first year that the race has been scheduled to run in the Sunday night slot on NBC, and it saw Ross Chastain pick up his first win of the ‘23 season. 

Ross Chastain’s crew chief Phil Surgen said there were a good amount of notes that they were able to use from last year’s race to get them into victory lane Sunday night. “The Next Gen car is developing really quickly at this point. Last year, we saw the biggest jump of that development probably in the springtime. By Nashville, we had settled on a package that was reasonably similar to what we continue to run throughout the rest of the season. Those notes did apply for us and particularly day to night. Regardless of the package, that stays pretty common.” 

Regardless of only four cautions (two being for stage breaks) and maybe not the best racing possible, the fans; drivers; and race teams all are fans of beating the heat and running at night.


Kaleb Vestal
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