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With sales down, NASCAR tracks can't gouge fans as much
NASCAR pledged the 2010 season would be aimed at placating its hard-core supporters with rough-and-tumble racing, but the fans are still staying away in droves due to the recession, but more likely because fans finally realize the extremely high prices they were being charged for race tickets while, they (Tracks) were reporting huge profits year-in-and-year-out, was enough..

According to estimates from official box scores, attendance decreased in nine of the first 10 races, with double-digit drops at Bristol Motor Speedway (14%), Phoenix International Raceway (13%) and Talladega Superspeedway (13%). International Speedway Corp., which owns Phoenix, Talladega and 10 more tracks that host Sprint Cup races, said during a first-quarter conference call last month that crowds at its speedways were at 81% of capacity.

"The year is unfolding as predicted," said Roger VanDerSnick, ISC's chief operating officer. "We knew admissions would be down. We're on track with expectations. The biggest impediment is the economy."

After 55 consecutive sellouts, Bristol's 0.533-mile oval was more than 20,000 short of its 160,000 capacity March 21.

Richmond International Raceway, which sold out 33 consecutive races from 1991 to 2008, was listed at 93,000 last Saturday, its first crowd below six figures since the Chase for the Sprint Cup began in 2004.

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