Dale Earnhardt Jr. blasts track promoters

Bruton Smith and other track promoters speak recently
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com

At a round-table discussion in Concord, N.C., last week the presidents of all but one of Speedway Motorsports' race tracks — along with SMI Chairman Bruton Smith — discussed what can be done to make it easier for fans to attend races in a depressed economy.

One thing mentioned was for drivers to do more. Smith said he was particularly upset with drivers who avoid fans.

"This idea of running and hiding and not signing autographs, I don't like that," he said.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Dale Earnhardt Jr. took exception with that idea:

"The race track owners want drivers to do more? Yeah, right. They need to go back to work," he said. "They forgot what it's like to sell tickets. That's their problem. They ain't had to sell tickets for a long time and none of them remember how or knew how or ever learned how.

"They need to get back to working hard and doing their promotions and putting packages together for race fans. They don't want to cut the ticket price but they probably should and get these hotels to quit gouging these people. They can dump that responsibility on drivers all they want but the responsibility really lies in their hands to sell race tickets and they have to get creative in doing it. We already do a lot. We do [bleeping] plenty and they are full of [bleep]."

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