Interest in Brickyard 400 continues to plummet

UPDATE A reader writes, Dear, I hope the Brickyard 400 does not go away. I love watching the NASCAR winner and his team stoop down and kiss the dirty yard of bricks, recognizing that as a NASCAR driver on hallowed IndyCar ground, it's proper that they prostrate themselves on the open wheelers home turf. Jay Metzger

07/23/11 There have been rumors that ticket sales for next week's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway were again off-pace from last season, but an internal NASCAR memo obtained by and The Observer seems to confirm the problem. In the memo, which was distributed by email on Friday, team public relations representatives were thanked ahead of time for their drivers' participation in a Sprint Cup Series autograph session at the track.

The memo said, "ticket sales are significantly behind from previous years" at IMS. Since sales have been dramatically down since the 2008 tire problems at the track, another significant decline would appear ominous. The memo goes on to say, the track believed there would be a large walk-up crowd for the July 31 race and hoped the autograph session would be well received by race fans. Charlotte Observer

[Editor's Note: The flat Indy track makes for a borefest of a race for fans. NASCAR puts on their best races on the high banked tracks and the single-file Indy race is not to their liking.

Last year’s listed attendance of 140,000 – emphasis on the word “listed" – was only slightly more than half what had been “listed" (270,000) three years earlier. In 2003, the listed attendance was 300,000.

Attendance has declined at most tracks, but not to that extent. The warnings from Indy are dire. Apparently the track is bracing for further decline.

As the IMS bosses survey the multitude of empty seats during the MotoGP and Brickyard 400 weekends, perhaps they will someday understand what we have recommended for years – that Indy stay and IndyCar town and instead of holding all the unsuccessful non-IndyCar races, they should give IndyCar fans what they would really like – a 2nd IndyCar race at Indy every year on the road course instead of the oval. We predict it would be hugely successful.]

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