The K&N East race at Memphis International Raceway on Saturday night may look an awful lot like NASCAR's future.
The .75-mile tri-oval last hosted the Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series in 2009, just before Dover Motorsports Inc. shuttered the facility. It was sold to Palm Beach International in 2011 and immediately resumed hosting IHRA events on its drag strip and leased the oval for a Super Late Model race in 2013.
Speedway president and general manager Pam Kendrick has been employed by both ownership groups and was instrumental in NASCAR's return with the K&N Pro Series East last season -- a race won by Harrison Burton.
Kendrick is monitoring the movement in NASCAR with drivers and fans alike wanting to see additional short tracks.
Memphis is one of the handful of facilities that has the foundation to host such events, with a SAFER Barrier and a maximum capacity of 35,000 -- not including the space for expanded temporary grandstands.
Kendrick says she has talked to NASCAR about ways to see Xfinity and Trucks return to West Tennessee.
"When we first re-engaged with NASCAR, our plan was to start with K&N and then Trucks and then Xfinity," Kendrick said. "We needed to build the base here. It's difficult to decide where to start because Memphis is such a diverse market."
--- Autoweek ---