The recently published April 2014 issue of National Speed Sport News (NSSN) features the annual fan poll of favorite tracks. For the third year in a row Eldora Speedway was the favorite of the readers. This well deserved honor is good news for short tracks everywhere. The poll, however, included some ominous news.
In the polls for the two prior years the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ranked second. This year it slipped to sixth behind not only Eldora, but also; Knoxville (IA), Oswego, Road America, and Salina (OK). No other IndyCar venue appeared in the top 15 tracks listed in NSSN. They poll also indicated that 71% of the respondents preferred dirt tacks over paved tracks. This is more bad news for IndyCar and all major forms of auto racing in North America. The clear implication is that the fans and their money are headed back to the short tracks.
It would be easy to blow this off as an unscientific poll and say that it is not truly indicative of the current situation. If you look at the demographics I believe you would find that the readers of NSSN are the core race fans. These fans are knowledgeable about the sport and are the people who buy the tickets and spend money at the tracks. They are the regular viewers of the TV broadcasts. They are not the casual, “one-race-a-year” attendees who are being courted by the major series, particularly IndyCar.
Is anyone listening a 16th and Georgetown Rd.?
©William L. Rottner 2014