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SBD/July 30, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NASCAR Has Not Discussed Bringing Sprint Cup Or Nationwide Series To Eldora
Published July 30, 2014
NO MAJOR CHANGES: In Jacksonville, Don Coble writes it "seems there only will be minor tweaks" to the '15 Sprint Cup schedule after a season that has been "plagued by weather problems, low attendance and a lack of off days." Next year’s schedule is "certain to start around Valentine’s Day and end a week short of Thanksgiving, making it the longest professional season in team sports." Driver Ryan Newman said, “I’d turn some of those tracks into Wednesday night races, and the other ones would be Saturday night or sometime Sunday afternoon when it made sense. I’d give us a little bit more off weekends. We can still run 36 or 38 races but we don’t need to be at the racetrack, especially for the Daytona and Talladega for three, sometimes four days with the inspection process. So I think just giving us the opportunity to be on TV and be our own special event on Wednesday night, especially in football season, would be good for our sport.” Driver Jimmie Johnson added, "I’ve always felt like we could use an off weekend before the Chase (for the Championship) starts just to leave us an opportunity to have a make-up race” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/30).
BRICK BREAKER: ESPN writers weighed in on the question of why the Brickyard 400, after 20 years, has gone from sellout crowds of 250,000 to perhaps the most glaring example of NASCAR's attendance decline. ESPN.com's Ed Hinton: "The thrill is gone, the novelty has worn off." ESPN.com's Brant James: "Take the series to 25 runnings at the Brickyard and then shut it down. Create a nostalgia, rekindle a demand for tickets when or if it returns." ESPN The Magazine's Ryan McGee: "They won't leave Indy anytime soon because it still means something to the competitors, and NASCAR brass doesn't like to admit retreat on anything. But if this were any other racetrack, it would've already been put on notice." ESPN.com's John Oreovicz: "Even with the speedway only a quarter full for the Brickyard, the event is still profitable for IMS. ... The Brickyard 400 is a tarnished entity that could prove impossible to fix" (ESPN.com, 7/29).