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SURVEY FINDS RACING FANS DIVIDED ON INDYCAR-IRL DISPUTE
Published January 25, 1996
In a survey of 254 Indy car racing "enthusiasts" conducted during the week of January 15, RI-based Performance Research found that 47% "generally agreed" with the position of CART's IndyCar (which will hold its own race opposite the Indy 500 instead of giving in to IRL's new qualifying rules), 27% agreed with the IRL's Tony George, and 26% were undecided. However, nearly 3 out of 5 (58%) said they will watch the IRL-backed Indy 500 "regardless of what happens." The researchers add that the dispute could lower overall interest in the sport. While racing fans said they expect to gain interest in Winston Cup (48%) and NASCAR's SuperTrucks series (46%), only 26% said they expect to gain interest in Indy car racing. In fact, 30% expect to lose interest in Indy car. Sponsor loyalty could also suffer. When posed with two products of the same price, 39% of Indy racing fans said the would "almost always" or "frequently" choose a sponsor's product or service over one that was not. However, that figure is down over 29 points over a similar '94 study (Performance Research).