ISC officials blame poor attendance on two-car draft, style of racing

dpkimmel2001

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Some more fuel to add to the fire on restrictor plate racing.

Talladega, ISC officials blame poor attendance on two-car draft, style of racing

Many NASCAR fans didn’t like the two-car tandem draft that dominated restrictor-plate racing, especially at Talladega Superspeedway, in 2010 and 2011.

They were joined by some of the top executives of the sport, including one who recently railed against the style of racing and blamed it for the sluggish ticket sales at Talladega Superspeedway.

International Speedway Corp. President John Saunders, whose company owns 12 tracks, including Talladega and Daytona International Speedway, minced no words when talking about the racing during a conference call last week with financial analysts.

“The tandem racing, two or three events of that kind of stuff … was quite frankly pathetic,” Saunders said. “It's not what Talladega has been known for.”

Bad weather, including tornado warnings, that occurred during Talladega’s spring weekends in 2010 and 2011 and high unemployment also hurt attendance, Saunders said. But he also said drivers’ negative comments about the racing at Talladega encouraged fans to stay home.

While ISC officials would not release attendance figures to back its claims, it cited the two Talladega races and the moving of the spring Kansas race from June to April as having an impact on its 5.7 percent decline in admissions revenue from 2011 to 2012.

The Talladega stands were far from full last year, and NASCAR estimated the Talladega crowd last October at 88,000 — an estimate that includes those camping in the infield.

It’s up to Talladega President Grant Lynch to try to find a way for Talladega to rebound. The track has been installing wider, nicer seats for spectator comfort, which will decrease capacity. Using banners to cover several sections of seats, the track now lists its seating capacity at 108,000, down from 143,000 three years ago.

In fan surveys after its fall 2011 race, 75 percent said they didn’t like the two-car draft, Lynch said. While NASCAR implemented rules designed to limit it in 2012 — rules that kept drivers from using the two-car draft up until the race’s final laps — the damage appears have been done.

“It was kind of one of these phenomenons where at first it was new and kind of different and everybody was going, ‘This is pretty neat,’” Lynch said. “But gradually, as it become more of the norm, it wasn’t one guy versus 42 guys.”

Fans disliked the emphasis on teammates, where drivers chose to only draft with their teammates and where some drivers decided to push and gave up any hopes of winning.

“Racing is to go fast and be the first one to cross the finish line — not to go slow and wait for your partner to catch up,” said DIS President Joie Chitwood, whose Daytona 500 was able to weather the impact of fan negativity better than Talladega.

“The novelty wore out quick and then the teams got so good at manipulating the style of racing, it became team versus team and that wore out its welcome pretty quick and the fans weren’t excited.”

The new 2013 body styles appear to have decreased the ability of drivers to compete in a two-car tandem draft. The front bumpers are curved and the spoilers are so small that the cars get loose much easier.

“I hope they can’t push with this car because of what the fans are telling us,” Lynch said. “It did hurt us.”

Whether it's tandem racing or pack racing, restrictor-plate racing also leads to big crashes. Those crashes often lead to drivers complaining about the style of racing.
Lynch said that doesn't help the tracks either.

“When you have the stars of the sport get out of the cars and say they don’t want to race places, what are the fans supposed to think?" he said.

from here.
 

Bobw

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I'd like to withhold judgement but will say this, ISC could screw up a one man parade
 

Whizzer

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So, now it is drafting and two car racing that is causing the drop in spectators. Who ever woulda thought? Seems to me, NASCAR is losing ground because the newbies are tired and looking for something more exciting. The wine and cheese crowd are headed for the exits and trying to find more action elsewhere or another event to talk about over the water cooler. NASCAR has become passe'.

To me, the reason NASCAR was fun to watch was because of guys like "Suitcase" Jake Elder, Harry Hyde, Smokey Yunick, and so many others. Today with the mega-money in the sport, not so much. Good for Danica Patrick and women, but are the big bucks really good for the sport?
While I did not appreciate Jeff Gordon running into Clint Bowyer, it was classic NASCAR! While I don't care for Kurt Busch running his mouth, it is classic NASCAR. You want politeness, watch tennis. Or diving. Or golf. Those are polite sports. As much as I dislike it when drivers do something stupid, it is part of the history and part of what made NASCAR great.
Here's a news flash for Brian and company. If you want to fill seats, cut race dates to one per year per track, race at small tracks, run at one or two more road courses, offer a mix, maybe even some dirt, (YEH! DIRT!) with good old fashioned bumping and banging. Television $$$ might not be so important if NASCAR did that since they would fill the seats, retain true race fans and they could watch as the newbies come, and go, but never affect the spectator numbers.

What do you mean, it's time to get up? OH! I fell asleep ..............and things were looking soooooooo good.
DARN! It was only a dream ........................:(
 

Jeffrey00

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bull****

reasons:

1. Jr - He just isn't as relevant anymore. As Jr goes most of Nascar goes.
2. Gordon - Pretty much same as Jr, but less relevant
3. Johnson - Stunk up the show for last 5-7 years
 

Thegroundpounder99

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I'm calling BS on this too. You don't see tandem racing (except Daytona of course) at any other track and their attendance is down. NASCAR and tracks enjoyed the boom and now it's leveled off. The economy is a big contributor to that. When it comes down to going to a NASCAR race or eating, I'm eating. Tandem or pack doesn't matter.
 

FenderBumper

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Fans said they wanted pack racing again, so it's up to them to start buying tickets after the first couple of plate races show the pack is back.

This right here is total BS. "Whether it's tandem racing or pack racing, restrictor-plate racing also leads to big crashes. Those crashes often lead to drivers complaining about the style of racing. Lynch said that doesn't help the tracks either. “When you have the stars of the sport get out of the cars and say they don’t want to race places, what are the fans supposed to think?" he said.

Mr. Lynch needs to get his head checked. First off, tandem pretty much eliminated the 'big one' and most wrecks involved 3 or 4 cars. This in turn eliminated most of the driver complaints about restrictor plate racing being a crap shoot.

It's scary when the people making the decisions can't get their facts straight BEFORE making those decisions. This is why I'm concerned about what we'll see at RP races this year, especially Daytona. In their knee jerk, stamp out tandem over reaction, pack racing may be impossible. They just may succeed in going from 70% not liking what they see to 99.99% disapproving (except dpk and Johali, of course).
 

Bobw

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Nascar aka the france family aka ISC made the rules. The teams took full advantage of the rules and now they get the blame?

I said in another posting that short tracks and dirt made Nascar, now the lack of them is killing the sport. They got greedy, you can put a lot more butts in the stands at a mile and a half track then you an at 1/2, 3/4 or mile tracks and that equates to more dollars.

Add in that most drivers today, not all, have the personality of wet dish rag and this is what you get. There's no more colorful characters, all plain vanilla. My opinion anyway.

Let me add that yes the economy has had it's effect. A local parked his LM last year and not a single offer to buy it has come along.
 

dpkimmel2001

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They just may succeed in going from 70% not liking what they see to 99.99% disapproving (except dpk and Johali, of course).
I think your math is a little off. 13.699 million tuned in for the Daytona 500 last year. Your .01% should have come out to 136,990 fans that would like the race. That's probably more like it. I don't think it was just Johali & I but I could be wrong. ;)
 

dpkimmel2001

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On second thought, my math is probably wrong. You may be right. It may be just Johali and I that like this racing.
 

FenderBumper

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Nascar aka the france family aka ISC made the rules. The teams took full advantage of the rules and now they get the blame?

I said in another posting that short tracks and dirt made Nascar, now the lack of them is killing the sport. They got greedy, you can put a lot more butts in the stands at a mile and a half track then you an at 1/2, 3/4 or mile tracks and that equates to more dollars.

Add in that most drivers today, not all, have the personality of wet dish rag and this is what you get. There's no more colorful characters, all plain vanilla. My opinion anyway.

That right there goes to the heart of nascars mismanagement of the sport during it's heyday. They seemed so obsessed with having more fans in the seats than football, they figured expanding the sport meant more seats. Since short tracks couldn't accommodate them without a big investment in multi-tiered stands made of concrete instead of steel polls, they went the cheap route and went all in on 1.5's and gutted the excitement that was filling the stands.

Since nascar-ISC wasn't willing to give up any of their race dates, they never considered that expansion actually means new tracks in new markets and then EXPANDING to an east and west division racing each weekend.

NASCAR will never reach it's full potential as long as the France family is in charge and making the decisions based on what's best for ISC's bottom line.
 

FenderBumper

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On second thought, my math is probably wrong. You may be right. It may be just Johali and I that like this racing.

What racing? Do you think you know what you'll get come Daytona? Hmmm......I may need to start a thread about this. I know I'll get a flood of complaints about how I'm tearing down the sport, but what the hell. That sheet never stopped me before. :D
 

Greg

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Just silly, less folks are buying tickets > means less people are going to events > less people going through turnstiles >less people in stands > then we see empty seats on TV > Then tracks paint seats with patterns to make empty seats look unemp a tee> then Andy starts a thread about empty seats> Another one about hypocrites camouflaging empty seats > Another about how the Baltimore IRL classic has become the best sporting event in the world> the greg postest " more classy double joint trophy queens is the answer > then Fender postest "Brad o Brad ooo..

..Ooo, more Brad > then Dpkimmals post some science
 

dpkimmel2001

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What racing? Do you think you know what you'll get come Daytona? Hmmm......I may need to start a thread about this. I know I'll get a flood of complaints about how I'm tearing down the sport, but what the hell. That sheet never stopped me before. :D
Yeah, you're right. We probably need another thread on this. I really don't think there are many that disagree with your thoughts on Daytona. Most everyone on here hates restrictor plate racing at tracks like Daytona & Talladega so I don't think you'll see many complaints.
 

FenderBumper

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Just silly, less folks are buying tickets > means less people are going to events > less people going through turnstiles >less people in stands > then we see empty seats on TV > Then tracks paint seats with patterns to make empty seats look unemp a tee> then Andy starts a thread about empty seats> Another one about hypocrites camouflaging empty seats > Another about how the Baltimore IRL classic has become the best sporting event in the world> the greg postest " more classy double joint trophy queens is the answer > then Fender postest "Brad o Brad ooo..

..Ooo, more Brad > then Dpkimmals post some science

I think you need to let those dogs out more often. ;)

I liked the tandem, but I agree nascar had to end it to please the majority. I just don't see the changes they made as being focused on successful pack racing as much as they are focused on bringing back the big one. I just wish RP fans would get honest and admit that the big one is part of the excitement they miss and stop pretending the side by side trains were so damn exciting to watch.
 

Bobw

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Take off the splitter, cut the spoiler down, go to a smaller small block like the 302. Hey we went from 427's to 350's.
Make it so drivers have to drive the car again and not flat foot it.
 

Jeffrey00

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Nascar aka the france family aka ISC made the rules. The teams took full advantage of the rules and now they get the blame?

I said in another posting that short tracks and dirt made Nascar, now the lack of them is killing the sport. They got greedy, you can put a lot more butts in the stands at a mile and a half track then you an at 1/2, 3/4 or mile tracks and that equates to more dollars.


This, but I think Bristol has shown that you can still have your cake and eat it too. I would like to see all races that have more than one date lose a date some more tracks can be moved in. More road courses, more super speedways, more short tracks, ect...
 

Greg

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Honestly I don't worry about RP rule packages. They change constantly almost like the flavor of the week. If you hate tandems just hang tight, they will go away with the next wave of rules. If you like them another generation of rules will bring them back.

I just hope they keep them on the ground, and out of the stands (the dega dog leg apex at the flag stand my biggest fear). I do think they could bust the packs up more with less cautions. If you slide to a stop in the infield, just keep your belts on and the green lights on. Only allow a must have few gallons of gas during cautions, and replacing only deflated tires. Ban G/W/C on RP tracks.

That would stop some insanity and the Jimmie Johnson type of early and mid way style cruising.
 

VaDirt

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It would be nice if there was one magic silver bullet causing the lagging attendance. If there were one magic thing to fill that stands back up.
 
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getadietdew

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I'm calling BS on this too. You don't see tandem racing (except Daytona of course) at a Tandem or pack doesn't matter.
////////////////////WRONG!!!!!!!!people buy tickets for pack racing ONLY,it aint for wecks eather,side by side 3 n 4 wide,all day
 

Thegroundpounder99

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////////////////////WRONG!!!!!!!!people buy tickets for pack racing ONLY,it aint for wecks eather,side by side 3 n 4 wide,all day

RIGHT?????!!!! :p

I'll say some fans may not show up for the tandem, but I don't think it's 30-40 thousand because of it. I appreciate both styles and both are good shows IMO.
 
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getadietdew

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RIGHT?????!!!! :p

I'll say some fans may not show up for the tandem, but I don't think it's 30-40 thousand because of it. I appreciate both styles and both are good shows IMO.
:p WHATEVER

I'm from alabama,love pack raceing,good seats at dega aint cheap,TANGOS SUCK,JR. leading helps,but pack racing helps too.
 

Matthew2470

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Even Talladega fans are beginning realize that the "racing" we see there is a sham.
 

Johali

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bull****

reasons:

1. Jr - He just isn't as relevant anymore. As Jr goes most of Nascar goes.
2. Gordon - Pretty much same as Jr, but less relevant
3. Johnson - Stunk up the show for last 5-7 years
BURP
 

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Add in that most drivers today, not all, have the personality of wet dish rag and this is what you get. There's no more colorful characters, all plain vanilla. My opinion anyway.

I've been defending the idiots like Jimmy Spencer , Kurt Busch , Kyle Busch and the rest for years . Now you've got Clint Bowyer , Danica and Bad Brad . Let's applaud the colorful guys instead of getting on their case.
 
R

Rusty34

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Spin it any way you want but the truth is the seats are either full or they're not. Television numbers are either good or they're not.

Cost to compete is now far too high and potential new owners are limited to those able to step up and buy cars and engines from one of the big mega-teams with fully staffed and equipped engineering departments and manufacturing facilities. Cars are completely purpose engineered now rather than producing a raceable car with many actual showroom model parts as in the was it used to be done. The 2013 job is simply a knee-jerk reaction to the empty seats they hope fans are OK with and come back.

Chevy, Toyota, Ford and Dodge engines are now expensive 10,000 RPM, 850hp special purpose built powerplants and are all practically carbon copies of each other due to rules and NASCAR's desire for parity and for no one brand to have the possibility of gaining advantage over another. Smaller teams cannot build their own engines anymore and hope to be competitive. They must be able to afford an expensive multi-year lease contract from one of the mega-teams.

The drivers are now out of touch with most fans and out of reach. The average fan works hard at a job during the week and longs for a "hero" he can identify with to pull for, maverics such as Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson, Richard Petty, and Cale Yarborough to name a few are long gone. Drivers now have big dollar rides handed to them, get polished and groomed and memorize important corporate talking points rather than earning it by coming up through the sport the hard way.

We need more of a fix than just the current 2013 facelift. Each fan will once again vote with his or her pocketbook whether this change is enough.
 

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Spin it any way you want but the truth is the seats are either full or they're not. Television numbers are either good or they're not.

Cost to compete is now far too high and potential new owners are limited to those able to step up and buy cars and engines from one of the big mega-teams with fully staffed and equipped engineering departments and manufacturing facilities. Cars are completely purpose engineered now rather than producing a raceable car with many actual showroom model parts as in the was it used to be done. The 2013 job is simply a knee-jerk reaction to the empty seats they hope fans are OK with and come back.

Chevy, Toyota, Ford and Dodge engines are now expensive 10,000 RPM, 850hp special purpose built powerplants and are all practically carbon copies of each other due to rules and NASCAR's desire for parity and for no one brand to have the possibility of gaining advantage over another. Smaller teams cannot build their own engines anymore and hope to be competitive. They must be able to afford an expensive multi-year lease contract from one of the mega-teams.

The drivers are now out of touch with most fans and out of reach. The average fan works hard at a job during the week and longs for a "hero" he can identify with to pull for, maverics such as Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson, Richard Petty, and Cale Yarborough to name a few are long gone. Drivers now have big dollar rides handed to them, get polished and groomed and memorize important corporate talking points rather than earning it by coming up through the sport the hard way.

We need more of a fix than just the current 2013 facelift. Each fan will once again vote with his or her pocketbook whether this change is enough.


I agree with what you are saying , but I don't think that going back to 400hp engines and $400,000.00 budgets is an option. For better or worse , Nascar has slowly progressed , HP wise , safety wise ,sponsor wise ,cost wise etc. .We have more fans now than we ever did back in the day , bigger purses ,and better racing . The fact that the fanbase shrinking a bit is ,(I think) ,a result of growing too fast . I sure as heck am looking forward to every race. How many butts are in the seats doesn't change the race for me .
 

FenderBumper

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I agree with what you are saying , but I don't think that going back to 400hp engines and $400,000.00 budgets is an option. For better or worse , Nascar has slowly progressed , HP wise , safety wise ,sponsor wise ,cost wise etc. .We have more fans now than we ever did back in the day , bigger purses ,and better racing . The fact that the fanbase shrinking a bit is ,(I think) ,a result of growing too fast . I sure as heck am looking forward to every race. How many butts are in the seats doesn't change the race for me .

The lack of butts is what brought about the new car. Enjoy.
 
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Gkunk79

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I may be the oddball here but I actually enjoyed watching the races where the tandom draft was in play. Granted I'm the over zealous race fan who had his laptop next to him with race view fired up. I found the ability to listen to two drivers team up and communicate , work together , and thus work together for a win an amazing experience you couldn't find on other race tracks. People go to places like Talladega and Daytona to see a style of racing you can't see anywhere else. If your going there just to watch "the big one" then you shouldn't call yourself a race fan ! Way to go NASCAR, good job, now we can go back to the long line of cars , what were we thinking making people actually work together !
 

FenderBumper

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I may be the oddball here but I actually enjoyed watching the races where the tandom draft was in play. Granted I'm the over zealous race fan who had his laptop next to him with race view fired up. I found the ability to listen to two drivers team up and communicate , work together , and thus work together for a win an amazing experience you couldn't find on other race tracks. People go to places like Talladega and Daytona to see a style of racing you can't see anywhere else. If your going there just to watch "the big one" then you shouldn't call yourself a race fan ! Way to go NASCAR, good job, now we can go back to the long line of cars , what were we thinking making people actually work together !

I agree. Now put on your flak suit before Johali and dpk see this. ;)
 

Johali

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I agree. Now put on your flak suit before Johali and dpk see this. ;)
Nope, I like racing. Whatever type it is I'll see the good in it, drink my BL, enjoy my time in the RV or in front of the tv with friends and family and smile about the goobers trashing everything nascar. :cheers:
 

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I may be the oddball here but I actually enjoyed watching the races where the tandom draft was in play. Granted I'm the over zealous race fan who had his laptop next to him with race view fired up. I found the ability to listen to two drivers team up and communicate , work together , and thus work together for a win an amazing experience you couldn't find on other race tracks. People go to places like Talladega and Daytona to see a style of racing you can't see anywhere else. If your going there just to watch "the big one" then you shouldn't call yourself a race fan ! Way to go NASCAR, good job, now we can go back to the long line of cars , what were we thinking making people actually work together !
Good stuff Guy.:cheers:
 

FLRacingFan

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It wasn't that bad. It did produce what's tied for the closest finish in history, with cars four wide at the line. :cool:
 
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