Why auto racing is losing the youth of this country resulting in falling popularity (Update)


Boring spec cars are one symptom of the lack of strategic thinking that is plaguing the racing industry. Will the power-to-be wake up and smell the coffee?

See this Yahoo Finance article about industries that milennials are not catching onto. Number 1 is automobiles. You might remember AR1's Brian Carroccio outlined this matter in June of 2013, showing how America is losing (or perhaps has already lost) its love affair with the automobile.

There are many reasons for this, which Brian discusses. However, the larger concern seems to be the racing industry's denial of the problem. Whereas, strategic solutions are necessary to ensure the health and prosperity of the sport going forward, racing organizations seems married to the paradigm of tactically treating the symptoms. Yes, while racing organizations spend precious time and resources concocting silly playoff formats, double-points systems, aero-kits, and branded-grill designs for boring spec-cars, racing slips further and further into the abyss of irrelevance.

Think of the myriad of possibilities outlined in AR1's 'IndyCar U' article.

AR1 has outlined many potential solutions to the problem. One, is for racing organizations to actively pursue establishing racing as a scholastic sport. But whatever the case, racing organizations (NASCAR, IndyCar, F1, sports car, NHRA, etc.) need to realize they are in a battle for relevance in a world that is far different from the one in which they rose to prominence.

Will racing organizations wake up and smell the coffee? Or is the sport so many of us love headed for the ash heap of history, destined to be one day viewed as a 20th century relic?

AR1 Staff

06/12/14 So just how bad is the loss of fans? NASCAR on Fox – note the 2.3 million loss of viewership in 7 years:

Year Avg. TV Rating No. of Viewers per Race
2007 5.6 9,307,000
2008 5.7 9,325,000
2009 5.1 8,680,000
2010 4.8 7,836,000
2011 5.0 8,600,000
2012 4.8 7,900,000
2013 4.8 7,800,000
2014 4.3 7,000,000


  1. It is a known fact that the average age of the race fan is getting very high.
  2. It is a known fact that the youth of this country for the most part cannot work on cars, they have become too sophisticated and you need the right computer equipment.
  3. It is a known fact that the youth of this country have lost their love affair with the automobile, it is just a mode of transportation.
  4. It is a known fact that the youth of this country do not view auto racing as a sport. Here's why:

Most Popular Boys High School Sports Programs

Rank Sport No. Schools Rank Sport No. Participants
1. Basketball 17,969 1. Football – 11-Player 1,109,278
2. Track and Field – Outdoor 16,011 2. Track and Field – Outdoor 572,123
3. Baseball 15,786 3. Basketball 540,207
4. Football – 11-Player 14,226 4. Baseball 472,644
5. Cross Country 13,942 5. Soccer 391,839
6. Golf 13,693 6. Wrestling 272,890
7. Soccer 11,375 7. Cross Country 239,608
8. Wrestling 10,363 8. Tennis 162,755
9. Tennis 9,916 9. Golf 157,756
10. Swimming and Diving 6,820 10. Swimming and Diving 131,376
99. Go-Kart Racing 0.000 99. Go-Kart Racing 0.0000

Racing isn't on the radar screen hence the youth of this country do not consider driving a skill worthy to be called a sport. We refer you back to this AR1.com article a year ago titled Racing's Dilemma: Kids don't care about cars anymore.

What is the industry doing about it? Are the powers to be going to let the sport rot on the vine and let the next generation worry about it, or are they going take action and approach the NCAA with a comprehensive plan to make go-kart racing a recognized sport? Mark C. reporting

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