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DATE News (chronologically)
05/17/11
nassprint
NASCAR oversaturation killing Brickyard 400
The Brickyard 400 gets a little smaller each year
Ticket sales for this year's Brickyard 400 are lagging behind last year's pace, and race organizers worry it could produce a second straight record-low turnout for the July 31 race.

"We don't disclose numbers, but you saw a lot of empty seats here last year, and I think you're going to see more here this year," Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO Jeff Belskus told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Declining ticket sales have already hit two of NASCAR fans' favorite tracks this season - Bristol and Talladega. And Dover, which has traditionally drawn smaller crowds, had empty sections at Sunday's race.

Indianapolis could be the next to see declining numbers.

Last July's attendance estimate was 140,000 - nearly half of the 270,000 that came to the track in 2007.

Belskus concedes that the poor economy and high gas prices have made an impact on ticket sales, but he believes the tire fiasco of 2008 and too many stock car races in the Midwest have also played a part in the decline.

"I'm in the camp that there's oversaturation, too," Belskus said. "It's truck events, it's Nationwide events, and it's Sprint Cup events. When we started this (race) in 1996, we didn't have a Sprint Cup event 120 miles away in Kentucky or 150 miles away in Chicago."

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