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Nashville says no All-American 400 decision yet, criticizes Southern Super Series

Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville Vice President Claire Formosa-Belt insists that no official decision has been made concerning the All-American 400 weekend and if the event will continue to feature Super Late Models or move exclusively to an all Pro Late Model format.

In an exclusive interview with Short Track Scene, Formosa-Belt explained that her father, track promoter Tony Formosa misspoke in a drivers meeting on Saturday by insinuating that the decision has already been made to promote Pro Lates instead of the Southern Super Series Super Lates.

For the second year in a row, the All-American 400 (Nov. 1) was scheduled to feature 300 laps for the Southern Super Series (the season finale) and 100 laps for the marquee monthly Pro Late Model division. Formosa-Belt says that her father was merely trying to gauge interest from his largest Pro Late Model field of the season.

“Anyone that knows dad will tell you that he’s not the best at public speaking or dealing with the media,” Formosa-Belt said. “I don’t know what he said at the drivers meeting because I wasn’t there. We had 30-plus cars there on Saturday night and dad just wanted to put out a vibe asking them what they thought.

“There are some people who are for it and others who are not but nothing is official until we put out a press release.”

With that said, the Southern Super Series is proceeding as if it is official. Series director Dan Spence confirmed that the All-American 400 was no longer the season finale and told Short Track Scene that a meeting between tour officials will take place on Tuesday to decide a course of action.

Formosa-Belt explained that she and father were offended by series director Dan Spence and founding promoter Tim Bryant as no one from the Southern Super Series called to confirm the decision with the track before speaking to the media.

“The Southern Super Series has real issues to sort out right now,” Formosa-Belt said. “Who is in charge there? Is it Jeff Freeman (Hoosier Tire South and owner under the limited liability corporation) or (Pensacola/Mobile promoter) Tim Bryant? What about Dan or (Head Technical Director) Ricky Brooks? No one knows and no one has shown a great ability to communicate.”

Formosa-Belt explained that her father has a lot of respect for those in the hierarchy at the SSS and still plans to pay his portion of the championship fund even if he doesn’t host the second of two events as a matter of integrity. Is the relationship salvageable between Fairgrounds Speedway and the SSS? It would take a lot, Formosa-Belt explained.

“It really upset dad that no one called to get his side of the story,” she explained. “There’s a chance but not a huge chance. Car counts are down and the series has made a lot of mistakes this year. I admit that dad shouldn’t have said what he said publicly. He should have asked the drivers privately and one at a time.

“But why would we want to work with people that don’t even have the courtesy to call you to see if something is true.”

The track is also peeved at having their role as the season-opening event downgraded to the second race when the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway was added late in the off-season. The Formosas believe that the carnage that took place on the one-quarter-mile venue on March 22 specifically detracted from their car count on April 5.

These are the sort of logistics that Formosa-Belt believes the Series needs to address moving forward.

According to Formosa-Belt, Champion Racing Association managing partner RJ Scott has reached out to Nashville about having his sanctioning body come back to the All-American 400 as well. The 2013 event was a co-promotion between the Southern Super Series and CRA Super Series.

In a separate interview Scott explained that he has only reached out about resuming the previous relationship the CRA had with both the track and the South Super Series and that is a support role. Any conversation between the CRA and Nashville purely concerned the logistics of maintaining the co-promotion status.

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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