STILL SNOOZIN’

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Last March I published a post here titled “Another Wake Up Call” about the National Speed Sport News Reader’s Poll on track popularity.  Essentially, the point was that IMS had fallen to a new low of 6th in the poll.  The 2015 Poll has been released and unfortunately I missed it, but thanks to Bob Gangwer at “Wing Side Up” I was reminded to check it out.

The results are in and IMS has fallen into a 7th Place tie with Williams Grove Speedway. It isn’t the highest ranked oval (Eldora being 1st); it’s not even the highest ranked paved oval (Oswego being 4th).  At this rate it will be out of the top 10 in just a couple of years.

How accurate is this poll?  It certainly doesn’t represent the casual fan who only attends one race every year when it comes to town like the circus.  It obviously doesn’t represent the NASCAR fan since Daytona, nor any other Cup track is in the top 10.  It DOES represent the most knowledgeable North American open wheel fans, the core IndyCar fans.  It also represents the fans who could become the future IndyCar core fan base.  The ownership and management of IMS and IndyCar are more concerned about promoting rock concerts than racing.  Clearly they are STILL SNOOZIN’.

THE TOP 10

Eldora

VIR

Knoxville (IA)

Oswego

Road America

Kokomo

(TIE) IMS

(TIE) Williams Grove

Lucas Oil Speedway (MO)

New Jersey Motorsport Park

Copywrite 2015    Photo Credit – Author

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3 thoughts on “STILL SNOOZIN’

  1. Tom Fitch

    Who votes for this ranking? 2 of the 4 top tracks are 0.5 mile dirt tracks. I guess only hardcore race fans or race car drivers would vote such tracks into a top 10.
    What I find even more surprising is that Elkhart only ranks 5th. For me, that is one of the best tracks in the world. Spa, Elkhart and Bathurst: those are the big three, imo.

    Tom

    Reply
    1. throughthecatchfence Post author

      I don’t know how familiar you are with NSSN. Its been around under several mastheads since before WWII. Chris Economaki sold it in the grandstands of east coast bull rings as a teenager. He eventually became the editor, publisher and owner. Most of the sales were from at-track sales and subscribers. The paper covered every short track in the Northeast and Midwest and constantly expanded region by region. In the 40’s, 50’s and into the 60,s nearly all of the fans of the 500 were from the demographic NSSN appealed to because the drivers generally came from and continued to drive on the Midwest and SoCal short tracks. The 500 was part of a National championship that was made up of primarily 1 mile dirt and pvement tracks (as well as the F1 world championship in the 50’s). NSSN folded a few years ago and was resurected as a monthly magazine that covers a broader spectrum of motorsports. It still has the same core readership. Indy has outgrow the bullring mentality and left it’s core fans behind, thus the miserable attendence and TV numbers. It needs to regenerate the interest of its present, and hopefully future fan base. The poll shows where that fan base and future lies.

      Reply

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