It may have been the first race of spring, but it was the coldest Sunday of the Sprint Cup season. There were many holes in the 62,000-seat grandstands at the Martinsville track, and those backstretch grandstands were even empty and covered with advertising banners to boot.
This being the heart of stock-car-racing country – they’ve been racing right here over the North Carolina border since 1947 – that poor crowd has to be a significant blow to NASCAR, and to this track, at least in its current flat, low-speed configuration.
With some five million people within two hours of this track, NASCAR executives certainly can’t blame this market for such a low turnout.
And, yes, the weather was unseasonably cold. But just a few days earlier it was 70 degrees and sunny, and tracks in the NASCAR heartland shouldn’t have to be so dependent on a good walk-up crowd to prosper. Winston-Salem Journal