Leading venue owner: Lack of star power lowering NASCAR attendances

The International Speedway Corporation, owner of 12 NASCAR Cup series venues, has reported a 10% dip in attendance during 2018, which it blames on a lack of driver "star power"

Leading venue owner: Lack of star power lowering NASCAR attendances

The figure has been recorded from the six Cup races held at ISC-owned tracks between March and May - at Phoenix, Fontana, Richmond, Talladega, Kansas and Martinsville.

Richmond was the only circuit to report an increase in attendance, while Martinsville was hit with severe snow that postponed the race until the Monday.

ISC has made substantial investments during 2018, with Phoenix undergoing significant modernisation and Richmond currently having its infield "reimagined".

The group did, however, report improved income of $171.7million in its second fiscal quarter, an increase of $8.2m compared to the same period in 2017.

"Our overall financial results for second quarter are in line with expectations and the 2018 outlook, despite admissions headwinds faced during the quarter," stated Lesa France Kennedy, ISC CEO.

"Revenue for events held during the quarter was impacted by weather, construction at ISM Raceway [Phoenix], and a general trend of lower sales at live sporting events."

In an investor call after the financial documents were released, ISC president John Saunders expanded on the reasons for lower attendance.

"Weather was an important part, but all in all, the attendance was a little bit softer than expected," he said.

"We still have an issue with star power and hopefully this stable of young drivers coming along will start to win and build their brands."

Penske's Ryan Blaney, one of several young drivers pushed by NASCAR to fill the void vacated by the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr, said those comments were unfair.

"Honestly, this whole 'young guys need to win now' thing is getting old," he said. "We're trying our hardest.

"It's not like I go out there and I'm happy for fifth [place] every single week. Any other guy under the age of 25, I'll just say is the same way.

"It's not a competition here between young guys and old guys, it's a competition between 39 other cars and yourself.

"I think it would be healthy for the sport if we just see more variation in winners.

"There have been seven winners this year. Come on now. You can't just put that on the young guys for not winning."

When asked if he felt the pressure of being a young star in NASCAR, Darrell Wallace Jr said: "A little bit.

"There is a lot of boring stuff that we have that is the same thing at ISC tracks that we could update to get more fans out.

"It kind of goes hand in hand from us behind the wheel to people that are here hosting us.

"It's a group effort. Like Blaney and Austin [Dillon] said, there have only been seven different winners.

"There are a lot of guys that are not young, that have the grey hair, that have not won yet. It's not all on us."

shares
comments
NASCAR Cup Daytona wrecks due to 'desperation' from drivers - Truex
Previous article

NASCAR Cup Daytona wrecks due to 'desperation' from drivers - Truex

Next article

Keselowski 'should have wrecked' rookie Byron in NASCAR Daytona race

Keselowski 'should have wrecked' rookie Byron in NASCAR Daytona race
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Plus

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Plus

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Plus

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his team-mate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Plus

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival Plus

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021