Another IndyCar oval event headed for failure? It seems that yet another IndyCar oval race is headed south. Judging by the lackluster attendance Saturday for the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300, most people in Kansas are NASCAR fans.
The big change for Kansas Speedway's IndyCar race this year was the switch in race days from Sunday to Saturday - it's now a support event to the weekend feature, the truck race. But the most pronounced difference seemed to be the grandstands, which were about half-full compared to near-capacity crowds for past IndyCar races at Kansas Speedway, which seats 82,000.
"Usually it seems pretty close to sold out when we're here, but the parking lot didn't look that crowded today," Eastland said before Saturday's race. "The weather and the economy, I'm sure, have an effect on it."
And the new ticket options?
Kansas Speedway president Pat Warren said the difference in overall ticket sales was actually not significant — the glaring number of empty seats aside.
"We're getting about what we expected," Warren said before the race. "It impacted our (season ticket) sales. The nice thing is our overall numbers are right where we want them to be, in terms of sales, revenue, things like that."
Warren said that while "several thousand" single tickets were sold for the race, most of the crowd was still comprised of season-ticket holders.
"We like the races. If you're going to go, go to all of them," said David Darling, a season-ticket holder from Shawnee.
Jerry Spencer of Shawnee said: "We're racing fans — we buy the whole thing anyway."
"Anything and everything," added his brother, Tom Spencer of Overland Park.
If this keeps up Tony George's legacy will be complete. He destroyed CART, the most successful IndyCar series in the history of the sport, to create the all-oval IRL. Although the Indy 500 will remain, once all the other oval events fail, the final chapter in George's legacy can be written.