IMS: We Need More Brickyard Fans

It’s literally mind-blowing how quickly the Brickyard 400 lost fans. And there are three key reasons for it:

  1. The tire fiasco in 2008
  2. The track is just built for BORING stock car racing
  3. The economy
    No matter what you think the number one reason is, you have to agree that the attendance has to get a boost. If it doesn’t, then there might be questions wondering if it’s worth having the race? Well, IMS finally made the case to get more fans at the race beginning next year.

IMS announced the Nationwide Series is moving from Lucas Oil Raceway to the 2.5-mile oval in 2012. In addition to that race being held on Saturday, the Grand-Am Series will be racing on the road course Friday. (Of course, the Brickyard 400 will still be on Sunday.) It is a great move, NOT because of the move of the Nationwide Series race to IMS, but because of Grand-Am.

It’s all being dubbed a ‘Super Weekend’—four races, three days.

That series has its own fan base and those fans will come to the Speedway to see the event. Heck, I’m excited about it!

But, will this move really bring all the fans Speedway officials want it to over the entire weekend? Friday will obviously be a lot more crowded, but I’m sure Speedway officials expect Saturday to grow immensely too. How many fans can you truly expect at a Nationwide race? I’m thinking it could be a Carb Day-like crowd. But who knows?

I would caution the optimism in the expected height in attendance though. I might wait until this year’s race is over at the end of July to make a prediction for the weekend’s attendance next year because of the NASCAR race this weekend.

Kentucky is a new race on the Sprint Cup Series schedule and is already a sellout for this weekend’s event. How many people will make their pilgrimage to that race now instead of the Brickyard?

Also, it remains to be seen how this race affects the relationship Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR) will have with the Speedway now. LOR is losing one of its premier events.

As a fan of the Speedway, I can say it is ONLY missing ONE race now: a Formula One grand prix. If only Bernie Ecclestone wasn’t in charge of picking places to race…then we would still have the U.S. Grand Prix instead of Austin, Texas.

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