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Volume 24 No. 156
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Fans Top List Of "25 Most Influential People, Places & Things" In NASCAR

NASCAR fans top the annual list of the "25 Most Influential People, Places and Things In NASCAR" due to their "ability to affect change in NASCAR," according to Jim Utter of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The actions of NASCAR and track owners "show how much fans' opinions matter." Daytona Int'l Speedway "polled ticket buyers on whether they preferred the two-car, nose-to-tail tandem racing or pack racing, and their responses prompted rule changes by NASCAR this season to favor the latter." Also, when ticket sales "sagged for the second consecutive season" for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, SMI Chair & CEO Bruton Smith conducted an "unscientific poll of fans, then cited the results in his decision to alter the track’s surface, hoping to tighten the racing." Utter: "The fans know they have influence" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/25).

1) Race fans 14) Tony Stewart
2) Twitter/Social Media 15) Darrell Waltrip
3) France family 16) The weather
4) Economy 17) NASCAR HOF
5) Danica Patrick 18) Track repavements
6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. 19) Brad Keselowski
7) Bruton Smith/SMI 20) Jack Roush
8) Manufacturers 21) Richard Childress Racing
9) Mike Helton 22) Eddie Gossage
10) Competition on track 23) Goodyear Tire Co.
11) TV networks 24) Carl Edwards
12) Jimmie Johnson 25) Sprint
13) Rick Hendrick