Most points wins by a driver for each 'active' race track - by track (total races):
Atlanta: Dale Earnhardt - 9 wins (108 races held)
Auto Club / California: Jimmie Johnson - 5 (26)
Bristol: Darrell Waltrip - 12 (109)
Charlotte: Jimmie Johnson - 7 (113)
Chicago: Tony Stewart - 3 (14)
Darlington: David Pearson - 10 (111)
Daytona: Richard Petty - 10 (137)
Dover: Jimmie Johnson - 10 (91)
Homestead: Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart - 3 (16)
Indianapolis: Jeff Gordon - 5 (22)
Kansas: Jeff Gordon - 3 (19)
Kentucky: Brad Keselowski & Kyle Busch - 2 (5)
Las Vegas: Jimmie Johnson - 4 (19)
Martinsville: Richard Petty, 15 (133)
Michigan: David Pearson - 9 (92)
New Hampshire: Jeff Burton - 4 (41)
Phoenix: Kevin Harvick - 7 (38)
Pocono: Jeff Gordon - 6 (75)
Richmond: Richard Petty - 13 (118)
Sonoma: Jeff Gordon - 5 (27)
Talladega: Dale Earnhardt - 10 (92)
Texas: Jimmie Johnson - 4 (29)
Watkins Glen: Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart - 4 (31)
Tracks with the most Sprint Cup Points Races have been held:
Daytona International Speedway 137 races (since 1959)
Martinsville Speedway 133 (since 1949)
Richmond International Raceway 118 (since 1953)
Charlotte Motor Speedway 113 (since 1960)
Darlington Speedway 111 (since 1950) Bristol Motor Speedway 109 (since 1961)
Atlanta Motor Speedway 108 (since 1960)
North Wilkesboro Speedway, 93 [1949-1996]
Michigan International Speedway, 92 (since 1969)
Talladega Superspeedway, 92 (since 1969)
Dover International Speedway, 91 (since 1969)
Gordon down to ONE track with no win: After winning at Homestead in November 2013 means there is only ONE race track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit at which #24-Jeff Gordon has yet to win, that being Kentucky Speedway. Gordon has won on 24 of the 25 tracks he has raced at in the Sprint Cup Series, including two tracks that are no longer active, North Wilkesboro and Rockingham.
Driver -- Wins -- Tracks won at/ Tracks ran
Richard Petty -- 200 -- 51 of 84
David Pearson -- 105 -- 38 of 65
Bobby Allison -- 84 -- 28 of 47
Jeff Gordon -- 92 -- 24 of 25
Darrell Waltrip -- 84 -- 16 of 26
Cale Yarborough -- 83 -- 18 of 46
Of course, a disclaimer here is that in the old days of NASCAR, many tracks were raced at once or just a handful of times, but that's still pretty impressive.(ESPN.com)
Current Drivers: the active leaders with the most Sprint Cup wins at the 23 different tracks currently on the NSCS schedule:
Rank, Driver, Number of Tracks
1. #24-Jeff Gordon, 22
2. #14-Tony Stewart, 21
3. #48-Jimmie Johnson, 19
4. #18-Kyle Busch, 18
Drivers with at least 10 wins at one track:
Richard Petty (5 tracks)
-- Martinsville (15)
-- Richmond (13)
-- North Wilkesboro (13)
-- Rockingham (11)
-- Daytona (10)
Darrell Waltrip (3 tracks)
-- Bristol (12)
-- Martinsville (11)
-- North Wilkesboro (10)
David Pearson, Darlington (10)
Dale Earnhardt, Talladega (10)
Jimmie Johnson, Dover (10)
NASCAR no longer provides attendance estimates: NASCAR will end its policy of providing estimated attendance figures in its race reports this season. Spokesman Kerry Tharp said tracks still will have the option of providing crowd estimates, but it will be their prerogative. "NASCAR's race reports generally becomes a box score for the media, and box scores from sporting events do not generally provide estimates," Tharp said. Of the 23 tracks that play host to races in NASCAR's premier series, 21 are owned by publicly traded companies such as International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc. Officials with those tracks have said they don't provide attendance figures because they don't want to provide earnings guidance.(USA Today)(2-17-2013)
Race Track Seating Capacity / Attendance Chart Page
NOTE: NASCAR has not reported track attendance since 2012
Smooth Tunnel Turn set to greet NASCAR drivers at Pocono: Those bumps that jostled drivers and rattled cars in the Tunnel Turn [2nd of three turns] at Pocono Raceway are gone. Track officials smoothed the racing surface in the turn and drivers should have a more comfortable ride this weekend when NASCAR returns to Pocono Raceway. A section of the track about 170 feet by 28 feet was milled, leveled and repaved about a week after the June race there. Also, a section of the apron about 170 feet by 12 feet was leveled and repaved. That will create a much different setting from June when the bumps surprised drivers and caused some challenges.(NBC Sports)(7-30-2015)
Martinsville Speedway Offers Fans a Jeff Gordon Ticket Package: For more than 20 years fans at Martinsville Speedway have grown accustom to seeing Jeff Gordon dominate. After all, he has eight wins, 28 top-five finishes and more than 3700 laps led. However, the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 on Nov. 1 marks the final start for Gordon at the famous half-mile speedway as a full-time driver. In an effort to give fans the opportunity to see the famous 24, with Gordon behind the wheel one last time, Martinsville Speedway is offering a $124 Jeff Gordon Ticket Package that includes a special commemorative T-shirt celebrating his historic run at the track, a ticket to see Gordon in a moderated question-and-answer session in the Green Flag Experience on race morning and a frontstretch ticket in the Blue Ridge Tower for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500. The race may mark Gordon's last shot to tie or break some historic Martinsville Speedway records. Should Gordon qualify on the pole on Virginia Lottery Pole Day, it would move him into a tie with Darrell Waltrip for the most Martinsville poles all-time. If Gordon finishes 10th or better he will tie Richard Petty for the most all-time top-10s and if he leads 41 laps, he will pass Cale Yarborough for the most laps led all-time at Martinsville. While many drivers struggle with learning how to navigate the unique half-mile track, it came second-nature to Gordon. In 1993 he made his first Cup start at Martinsville. He qualified third, finished eighth and never looked back. In his 45 career Martinsville starts he has only finished outside of the top-10 nine times and has completed 99.5% of the laps. The Jeff Gordon Ticket Package is on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(7-30-2015)
New Hampshire Motor Speedway devalued by $100M since purchase: When Speedway Motorsports Inc. bought New Hampshire Motor Speedway in January 2008 for $340 million in cash, it was an indication of what a track that hosted NASCAR races was worth then. A little less than eight years later, despite increased television revenues, the track-operating company founded by Bruton Smith devalued the 1.058-mile racetrack by approximately $100 million as part of its 2015 second quarter financial report that was released Wednesday. "If we had to do it again, obviously we wouldn't pay quite so much," SMI chief financial officer Bill Brooks said in a conference call Wednesday with financial analysts. With the facility having two Sprint Cup dates and an avid fan base, SMI agreed to the deal in September 2007 just prior to the financial downturn. For comparison, it bought Kentucky Speedway, a 1.5-mile facility with no Sprint Cup dates at the time, for $78.3 million in December 2008. Brooks said of the $340 million purchase price for the New Hampshire track, approximately $300 million was for the two Sprint Cup race weekends the facility had at the time. He said the approximate $100 million devaluation of the facility relates to the worth of the events to the track.
The seating capacity at New Hampshire was recently reduced from 95,000 to 88,000. SMI reported Wednesday that the track has had ongoing lower-than-anticipated revenues for its major racing events, and its chance to recoup those revenues were limited "similar to challenges faced by many major sports" of increased entertainment options and more people preferring to watch the events at home. SMI recorded a non-cash charge of $98.9 million on its latest financial statement for the devaluation of New Hampshire and change in goodwill resulting from NASCAR's transition to selling merchandise from a centrally located tent and not primarily through haulers and kiosks at the track. SMI will get an income tax benefit of $38.4 million as a result of the write-down.
The operator of eight tracks that have Sprint Cup races (Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Kentucky, Las Vegas, New Hampshire, Sonoma and Texas), SMI reported that ticket revenue was down 3.2 percent through June but that includes a weather-plagued Atlanta weekend in February -- its 2014 event was in August -- and does not include Kentucky, which last year had its race in June but this year was in July. Brooks said many of the 2015 race weekends are showing increased revenues over 2014.(ESPN) and see the full report at Speedway Motorsports Inc. - 2015 second quarter financial report.(7-29-2015)
One Lucky Fan to Serve as Pure Michigan 400 Honorary Starter: Excitement for this year's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway is revving up and with less than a month to go until race day, Pure Michigan announced today that one lucky fan will have the chance to serve as honorary starter. For the third year in a row, Pure Michigan is turning to fans to help decide who will wave the green flag on August 16. The Pure Michigan 400 Honorary Starter contest launches today and will run through midnight on Thursday, August 6. To enter, fans simply have to share, in 50 words or less, why they want to serve as honorary starter and signal the start of the race at MIS. Entries may be submitted directly to the Pure Michigan Facebook page via the contest tab. Fans will also have the chance to vote on which entry they think best embodies the honorary starter role. The winner will be chosen from the 10 submissions with the most fan votes based on which submission displays a passion for racing and all things Pure Michigan. In addition to serving as the honorary starter, the prize package includes four tickets to the Pure Michigan 400 and a number of VIP experiences on race day. All other expenses including travel to Michigan International Speedway will be at the winners own expense. Tickets for the races are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(7-29-2015)
Tanya Tucker to sing National Anthem at Darlington: Joining Darlington Raceway's celebration of the early 1970's during Labor Day weekend will be country music icon Tanya Tucker. Tucker, a longtime Nashville recording artist, will perform the National Anthem live on NBC for the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sept. 6. For four decades, Tucker's sultry voice and vivacious stage presence has helped to make her one of the most admired and respected female vocalists in the country music genre. Part of that appeal lies in the fact that her resume contains some of the most groundbreaking songs of the format's history. Songs like Alex Harvey's Delta Dawn, Dallas Frazier's What's Your Mama's Name and David Allan Coe's Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone) firmly established Tanya Tucker as an artist from whom you could always expect the unexpected. And, the best is yet to come for this future Country Music Hall of Fame member. With a new album forthcoming, the powerhouse vocalist is set to remind listeners just why artists such as Miranda Lambert and Gretchen Wilson consider her to be one of their biggest influences. Tucker's anthem performance adds yet another element to an already exciting 1970's-style pre-race. She will join legendary rock band Grand Funk Railroad, who will be performing the pre-race concert for the 66th running of the Bojangles' Southern 500.(Darlington Raceway)(7-28-2015)
Ken Ragan named Director of Atlanta Motor Speedway Legends Program: Ken Ragan has been named director of the U.S. Legends racing program at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ragan returns to the Speedway after serving as the Legends director from the program's inception in 1997 through 2001. He replaces Dwight Pilgram, who has retired after four years at the post. The Unadilla, Georgia native competed in 50 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races over an eight-year span from 1983 to 1990. In his career, he also made five starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and earned eight top-10 finishes in 17 ARCA Racing Series races. Ken is the father of current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan.(AMS)(7-25-2015)
Military discount available for Darlington NXS race: Darlington Raceway, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation and Sport Clips Haircuts are partnering to raise funds for the VFW's Help A Hero Scholarship Program. Effective immediately thru August 28, the track is offering active duty, retired and veterans a special 50 percent off admission to the NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 race on Sept. 5 at Darlington Raceway. Special tickets are available by visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com/HelpAHero or by calling 866-459-7223. Verification of military service will be vetted through SheerID. In turn, Darlington Raceway will donate $2 for each ticket purchased through the program to the VFW's 'Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship' program. The VFW Foundation and Sport Clips have been entitlement partners of Darlington's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 race since 2012.(Darlington Raceway)(7-24-2015)
Parmalee and Kongos headline Keloorah at Michigan: NASCAR race fans and music festival fans both will have reasons to celebrate in August at Michigan International Speedway. Keloorah, a music festival experience, will take place on Friday and Saturday of the August Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at MIS. Seven music acts, spanning country and alternative rock, along with EDM deejays will perform at Keloorah. Keloorah kicks off on Aug. 14 with alternative rock. The sounds of the Kongos, Big Data and Saints of Valory will entertain the crowd into the night. Country music takes the stage on Aug. 15 with Parmalee, Logan Mize, Dylan Scott and Tim Dugger. But that's not all. Besides the live shows, deejays will headline the Budweiser Stage and will host foam and paint parties. Also, there are go-karts, video game arcade, an outdoor sports bar, tailgate games, - all within the NASCAR event weekend and on MIS property. Keloorah is behind Turn 3, central to many of MIS' MISCamping.com campgrounds. But shuttles will run from campgrounds to the party. A Sunday admission ticket or infield or APEX wristband that allows access to the Pure Michigan 400 will gain access to Keloorah on Friday and Saturday.(Michigan Speedway)(7-22-2015)
Pocono race to be the Windows 10 400: Pocono Raceway and Microsoft announced the renaming of the annual August NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at "The Tricky Triangle" as the Windows 10 400. The Windows 10 400 race weekend will take place from July 31st to August 2nd, just two days after the launch of Windows 10. For the first time ever, Microsoft's popular operating system will be offered as a free upgrade* to customers with qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8 devices. Microsoft, an Official Technology Partner of NASCAR, will have device displays and interactive experiences in the Fan Fair and Paddock areas at Pocono Raceway during the Windows 10 400 race weekend. Race fans and members of the NASCAR industry will be able to relax and enjoy Windows 10 devices at these locations. Additionally, everyone is invited to interact on their social media channels using the official race hashtag, #Windows10_400. Additionally, Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., the defending winner of the August NSCS race at Pocono Raceway, will drive the #88 Microsoft Chevy SS during the Windows 10 400 race weekend.(Pocono Raceway)(7-21-2015)
Virginia Lottery returning as Pole-Day sponsor at Martinsville: Martinsville Speedway and the Virginia Lottery announced a continuation of a NASCAR Sprint Cup pole day sponsorship for the Virginia Lottery through the spring of 2016. The Virginia Lottery Pole Day is scheduled for Friday, October 30 to set the field for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 on November 1. The Virginia Lottery will also sponsor pole day for the STP 500 next spring. The Virginia Lottery generates more than $1.4 million per day for Virginia's K-12 public schools. Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, the Virginia Lottery generated more than $538.6 million for Virginia's public schools in Fiscal Year 2014. There will be plenty of excitement on the Virginia Lottery Pole Day on October 30 with practice for both the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 and qualifying for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500.(Martinsville Speedway)(7-17-2015)
Mike Smith honored by City of Martinsville: Longtime Martinsville Speedway Public Relations Director Mike Smith was honored Tuesday by the City of Martinsville and Henry County for his contributions to the area over the past four decades. Smith, who will be leaving the speedway this Friday, was presented a joint proclamation from the city and the county "proclaiming their thanks and appreciation to Mike Smith for his dedication to our community, Martinsville Speedway, and the thousands of fans and journalists upon who he had such an impact."
"I really can't put into words what this means, and for those who know me, speechless is a rare thing," said Smith, who has lived in the Martinsville and Henry County area since the late 1970s, first as a reporter and sports editor for the Martinsville Bulletin, and as the track's public relations director since the fall of 2000. "This area has been home for me all of my adult life. It is a special place to me; it always will be. It was a great area to raise a child; it has provided a wonderful work environment. There are so many things I will miss, but we are excited about the next chapter." Smith will be relocating to Bristol, TN, where he will join wife Aleeta and begin work with his own public relations consulting business.(Martinsville Speedway)(7-16-2015)
Furious 7 to sponsor Chicago XFINITY race: Chicagoland Speedway announced Furious 7, the $1.5 billion worldwide box-office blockbuster and most successful installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, as the title sponsor for its NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Sept. 19. The Furious 7 300 will feature cast member Chris "Ludacris" Bridges will serve as the Grand Marshal of the Furious 7 300 as NASCAR's stars of tomorrow set the stage for the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Furious 7 will be released on Digital HD on August 25 and Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand on September 15 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE) as an all-new extended edition. The film has become the highest-grossing movie in the history of the franchise.(Chicagoland Speedway)(7-13-2015)
Bristol to hold fan day during test session July 29: Up to 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are expected to test at Bristol Motor Speedway Wednesday, July 29, an event that the Speedway is making free to the public as part of the "It's MY Bristol Baby!" campaign to express the Speedway's appreciation to local fans and supporters. Bristol Motor Speedway Fan Day activities run 9:00am-5:00pm/et. Beginning at Noon, the Speedway will offer interactive displays and kids' activities including show cars, mascot appearances, photo sharing, inflatables and face painting. Participating Sprint Cup drivers will be announced the week of July 27. Guests can enter the Speedway through the North or South entrances off Volunteer Parkway, and the stands via Gate 7.(BMS)(7-11-2015)
Kentucky honors Jeff Gordon...with bourbon: Kentucky Speedway, Speedway Motorsports Inc., Kentucky Distillers Association and four prominent Kentucky distillers presented a special "thank you" to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon, who is competing in his final full-time season. Four Roses, Jim Beam, Michter's and Wild Turkey each gave the four-time Sprint Cup Series champion 24 bottles with each bottle featuring a special one-of-a-kind autographed label. Kentucky is internationally known for its bourbon whiskey producing 95 percent of the world's supply. KDA gave Gordon a trunk full of glassware, barware and other gifts to enjoy his new collection and to remember his time in Kentucky, the one, true and authentic home for bourbon. The Master Distillers from each distiller were in attendance. If Gordon wins at Kentucky, he will be the first driver to win at every track on the current Sprint Cup Series schedule. He has finished in the top ten in each of the first four Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts races.(Kentucky Speedway)(7-11-2015)
Moving Daytona summer race to morning not under consideration: Don't count on NASCAR moving the start of the July Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway back to the morning, a series official says. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said this week on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that "I wouldn't look to us to go back to a morning race" at Daytona in July. The event, formerly known as the Firecracker 400, started at 10 or 11 am on July 4 to avoid the afternoon heat and showers. It was moved off the July 4 holiday to a Saturday afternoon start in 1988. The event has been run at night since 1998. "I don't think so," O'Donnell said. "I think the sport is so big now and there are so many partners that are involved. I know it might be easier to look at an 11 a.m. start. It's our job to look at all factors to grow the sport as much as we can and make it as fan friendly as possible."(NBCSports)(7-9-2015)
Talladega Superspeedway offers "Two for $88" Dale Jr. Ticket Package: In honor of #88-Dale Earnhardt. Jr. capturing the last two Superspeedway races in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Talladega Superspeedway is bringing back the popular "Two for $88" ticket package, named for NASCAR's most popular driver and Talladega's latest winner, for the October 25, Alabama 500. Earnhardt, Jr., who went to Gatorade Victory Lane in the GEICO 500 at NASCAR's Most Competitive track - Talladega Superspeedway - in May, claimed his second dramatic victory of the year last night at Daytona International Speedway in the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola. The "Two for $88" Dale Jr. Talladega package gives fans a $32 savings off the regular price for two Lincoln Grandstand tickets to the Sunday, October 25, Alabama 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race -the final race of the Contender Round in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup where the field of 12 eligible drivers for the title will dwindle to eight. The "Two for $88" offer is for a limited time. For more information, visit talladegasuperspeedway.com/dalejr.
In addition to the "Two for $88" package, Talladega Superspeedway is offering up additional savings for the fall weekend, Oct. 23-25, which also includes the fred's 250 Powered by Coca-Cola for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (Saturday, Oct. 24)., Fans save $10 off all regular price tickets for the Alabama 500 for a limited time, and kids 12-and-under receive a $50 discount on all seats. Log on to www.talladegasupespeedway.com or call 877-Go2-DEGA for more information.(TSS)(7-7-2015)
Watkins Glen introduces new "Bronson Hill" camping area: Race fans looking to camp at Watkins Glen International now have a new area to consider. Due to the increasing demand of RV camping space, the historic circuit has introduced "Bronson Hill", an outfield location set just outside of the Gate 6 entry into the facility. All sites are sized at 30x50 feet, and feature non-trackside pricing -- $375 until Monday, August 3rd, when rates rise to $425. In addition, Two vehicle passes come with each site purchase. Fans can call 866.461.RACE or log onto www.theglen.com for more information.(WGI)(7-7-2015)
Why the Coke Zero 400 was run on July 5th and not July 4th? For 29 years, the summer race at Daytona International Speedway was a part of the nation's birthday. The event was always run on Independence Day, no matter what day of the week. The race was in the morning, and the drivers and their families were celebrating on the beach by late afternoon. The tradition that began in 1959 ended in 1988 when the event was moved into prime time on whatever Saturday was part of the holiday weekend. Now it has been moved once more, to Sunday night, to accommodate the return of NASCAR to NBC.
Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, said the change was simply about audience. "The Fourth of July is annually the lowest night of television watching of the year - fewer people watch TV that night because they are all out watching fireworks," Lazarus told The Associated Press on Saturday. "In order for us to start our relationship with as big a splash as we can, we wanted to give ourselves the best chance and opportunity to have a big audience. It was simply math." The switch still comes with challenges. By moving it to Sunday night, the race now goes head-to-head against the United States playing in the Women's World Cup final. NBC's pre-race show begins at the same time as the game, but the race doesn't actually go green for another 78 minutes. Lazarus anticipates, barring overtime and penalty kicks, only about 35 minutes of direct competition. He is hopeful, though, that World Cup viewers will flip to the NASCAR race when the game ends. "It's a mixed blessing - it will bring a lot of different people to the television set," he said. "We're hopeful, if we continue to market, that we'll get some people who wouldn't be home watching TV to transfer over and check us out."
Although both NASCAR and Daytona officials signed off on the switch to Sunday, it's not the most ideal situation for track President Joie Chitwood. Running the race a day later hurts attendance because campers usually return home on Sunday, and now the World Cup likely will cut into viewership. Chitwood understood NBC's desire for the Sunday night race, but is thankful the race will return to Saturday night in 2016. "In our conversation with them, it was just the one time," he said. "We all talked about what we could do special for NBC, and this was one of their components, and it made a lot of sense when we sat down and really talked about it. When you look at what they've done with 'Football Night in America,' they are just knocking it out of the part. They've really captured that. Hopefully, they can sprinkle a little bit of that magic on this event this Sunday. I don't think anybody a year ago, though, knew about World Cup soccer, so that's the way the breaks are."(see full article at the Associated Press)(7-5-2015)
Kyle Busch comments on Daytona safety improvements: Toyota NSCS Daytona Kyle Busch Notes & Quotes:
Q) Do you feel safer at Daytona with the safety improvements that have been implemented?
Busch: "I wouldn't say you ever feel safe, but you're certainly grateful for the opportunity with the race tracks - not just Daytona, but all the race tracks to continue to work on the evolution of safety as well as NASCAR, the work that they've done throughout the years with the seats and the HANS device and our restraints and everything. I'm grateful that the Daytona International Speedway was as complimentary as they were after the crash here in the spring. They wanted to fix it and they wanted to do everything they could do in their power to make sure everything was done right here at the speedway and to make it first class. I think they've done that. I think there's certainly always room for improvements - any facility you go to, I feel like there's room for improvement. Seeing those done here at Daytona was really good."
Have you been able to visit the area of the race track where you made impact?
Busch: "Actually Joie Chitwood (track president) and NASCAR invited me early to take a ride around and just kind of take a look at some of the things that they've done. We went early yesterday, just after lunch and was able to take a look at some of those things. Actually got out of the van that we were in and just walked the area a little bit, kind of looked at some things and made some more suggestions of what else they could kind of look at and try to make improvements to. They were all well receptive and I think it was a good thing that we did that. Hopefully again, we can just continue to see the evolution of safety at all these race tracks continue to expand."
Q) Did you have any suggestions for Joie Chitwood beyond removing the grass and paving that area?
Busch: "Yeah, there's a little bit more of an opening over there in the area in which I crashed that we'd all kind of like to see get closed up some. They have a challenge there with the road course obviously having safer barriers there and everything kind of going on. So, we'd love to be able to see that area continue to be closed up more like it is off of turn four. Turn four has got a small gap over there where the safety workers and their vehicles can come in and out. That was the only other suggestion and obviously of course the grass is an issue that I think a lot of the drivers would echo my statements on."(Toyota Racing)(7-5-2015)
ISC Statement on Safety: Statement from International Speedway Corporation (ISC) President John Saunders: "Following February and the completion of Speedweeks in Daytona, International Speedway Corporation, in conjunction with NASCAR, initiated a thorough review and audit of impact-absorbing technologies at our properties. Based on those findings, ISC will install approximately 54,000 linear feet of additional SAFER Barrier at its facilities. From now through the end of 2016, ISC will work with Cheaha Construction, Smith Fence Company, and North Industrial Machine, all certified organizations with the University of Nebraska, on this installation. As safety remains at the forefront, ISC will continue to work with NASCAR to evaluate specific locations inside the turns for future safety enhancements."(ISC)(7-5-2015)
ISC sees attendance increase at some tracks: International Speedway Corp., saw attendance up for its NASCAR Sprint Cup races during the second quarter of this year compared to the same time a year ago, the company stated this week. The company reported a 9% increase in attendance at Talladega Superspeedway in May and a second consecutive sellout for its Cup race at Auto Club Speedway (capacity 68,000) in March. John Saunders, president of International Speedway Corp., said Martinsville Speedway's Cup race in March also saw an increase in attendance but didn't reveal by how much. He said attendance was down 3 percent for the June 14 Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Saunders said ticket sales were trending up until forecasts of rain for the race. Saunders said attendance was down for Cup races at Richmond and Kansas, citing the weather but did not say by how much. Saunders also said that Sunday night's Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway, the August Cup race at Watkins Glen and the August Cup race Michigan race, are on track to meet or exceed attendance expectations. Daytona's grandstand renovation continues and there will be 52,000 seats available for the Cup race. Once the project is completed - in time for next year's Daytona 500, the seating capacity will be 101,000. Preliminary plans are being made for renovations at Phoenix International Raceway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway once the Daytona project is complete, Saunders said. During the second quarter, ISC saw retention rates for ticket sales go from 55% to 58%. "So, we're getting a significant number of first timers,'' Saunders said. "And I will tell you that in our consumer strategies, we very much segment how we promote to those first timers versus returning guests, or tenured guests. But we're seeing the retention rate grow which is good, but we are seeing new entrants into the sport.''(NBC Sports), see full ISC report at internationalspeedwaycorporation.com,(7-5-2015)
Stabenow Seeks Tax Sweeteners for NASCAR Track Operators: Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is teaming with Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and other senior Republicans in pressing for a permanent extension of faster tax write-offs for operators of motor racetracks, including 29 venues used for NASCAR events. A new Stabenow bill (S 1624) and a similar House measure (HR 1549) by Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., would make permanent the accelerated seven-year time frame for writing off improvements to racetracks. The incentive was renewed in the two-year tax break extension (PL 113-295) that expired at the end of last year. In coming weeks, Stabenow has signaled that she and other lawmakers will press to add her proposal in a tax overhaul plan and will insist on at least a temporary extension of the sweetener as part of a possible year-end tax break extension package.(Roll Call)(7-4-2015)
Changes made at Daytona crash scene: The section of Daytona International Speedway where Kyle Busch broke his left foot and right leg in February will look quite different this weekend. The speedway has reconfigured the inside wall with a combination of SAFER barrier and tire barriers near Turn 1, the entrance to the track's road course. That's where Busch smacked a concrete wall section Feb. 21, causing injuries that threatened to sideline him for the 2015 season. The new wall is positioned so that a skid into it would be shorter and make impact at a less dangerous angle. The speedway also paved over the grassy area that Busch slid through, as pavement offers more resistance than grass in a skid. That area isn't the only new area with SAFER barrier at the track. Daytona now has SAFER barrier around the entire outside wall, not just in the turns. It has added SAFER barrier to the inside pit wall just beyond pit road -- an area that Kevin Harvick hit in 2014 -- but needs to add some SAFER barrier in the turns to make the track completely covered.(see image of the wall at ESPN)(7-3-2015)
Industry asks fans to refrain from displaying Confederate flag: Statement from NASCAR Industry Members: "As members of the NASCAR industry, we join NASCAR in the desire to make our events among the most fan-friendly, welcoming environments in all of sports and entertainment. To do that, we are asking our fans and partners to join us in a renewed effort to create an all-inclusive, even more welcoming atmosphere for all who attend our events. This will include the request to refrain from displaying the Confederate Flag at our facilities and NASCAR events. We are committed to providing a welcoming atmosphere free of offensive symbols. This is an opportunity for NASCAR Nation to demonstrate its sense of mutual respect and acceptance for all who attend our events while collectively sharing the tremendous experience of NASCAR racing."(NASCAR with signatories of ALL race tracks of ISC & SMI and many others)(7-2-2015)
Chevy becomes Founding Partner of Daytona Rising: International Speedway Corporation and Chevrolet announced a multi-year partnership that will make Chevrolet a Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) as part of its Daytona Rising redevelopment project. The historic $400 million Daytona Rising project, encompassing the Speedway's nearly one-mile long frontstretch, will be complete by January 2016. Beginning in 2016, the multi-year agreement will provide Chevrolet with naming rights for one of five fan injectors. The massive, new and redesigned entry includes over 20,000 square feet of Chevrolet new vehicle displays and a fan engagement experience that vertically spans four concourse levels. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Chevrolet will also have branding rights for one of the "neighborhoods" located near its injector. Each football field-sized neighborhood will be located throughout the new frontstretch and feature retail and dining areas, as well as dozens of video screens. Additionally, Chevrolet will serve as an official partner of the Daytona 500, and receive official pace car rights in select years. In addition to the Founding Partner status with Daytona Rising, Chevrolet extended its pace car rights at several ISC facilities including Darlington Raceway, Phoenix International Raceway and Watkins Glen International for various NASCAR and IMSA events. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS / Team Chevy)(7-1-2015)
Fifth Third Bank named Official Bank of Daytona International Speedway: Daytona International Speedway announced that Fifth Third Bank, a diversified financial services company, will become the official bank of the "World Center of Racing" and will integrate its ATMs into the redeveloped Speedway beginning in 2016. Additionally, Fifth Third Bank will serve as an official partner of the DAYTONA 500 and the Coke Zero 400.
"The motorsports industry continues to be an important segment for Fifth Third Bank," said Brian Lamb, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank (North Florida). "We are proud to be the official bank of this landmark racing venue and its global sports brands, and we look forward to delivering innovative financial solutions to Daytona International Speedway as it continues to grow."
Effective immediately, the multi-year agreement will also provide Fifth Third Bank with fan engagement and corporate hospitality opportunities at the Speedway, as well as the ability to use Daytona International Speedway and its races' marks and logos in Fifth Third Bank promotions. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Lamb and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III revealed the partnership today at the Fifth Third Bank Lake Eola building in Orlando, along with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fifth Third Bank Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing. "We are very pleased to welcome Fifth Third Bank as the official bank of Daytona International Speedway," said Chitwood. "DAYTONA Rising continues to serve as a valuable marketing platform for our growing list of partners."
The relationship with Daytona International Speedway furthers Fifth Third Bank's commitment to motorsports. Fifth Third Bank came onboard with Roush Fenway Racing in 2012 and has served as a primary sponsor on the #17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Ford entry for the past four seasons. Last year, they signed another multi-year sponsorship agreement with the organization. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(6-30-2015)
Save Mart Supermarkets Signs Multi-Year Sponsorship Extension with Sonoma Raceway: Save Mart Supermarkets has signed a multi-year agreement to continue as co-title sponsor of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway, extending the raceway's most enduring commercial sponsorship. Save Mart Supermarkets' status as either title or co-title sponsor of the annual Cup event in Sonoma is one of the longest runs in all of NASCAR Cup racing. The new agreement is for five years, extending through 2020. First partnering with the raceway in 1992, Save Mart will celebrate its 25th anniversary as a race sponsor in Sonoma in 2016.
"Our relationship with Sonoma Raceway has become part of the Save Mart culture. We're thrilled to extend this tradition for several years to come," said Nicole Pesco, co-president and chief strategy and branding officer of Save Mart. New for 2015, Save Mart will debut the Save Mart/Lucky Breaking Zone during race weekend. This all-new fan display will be the hub of social media activity, including a place for fans to charge their phones, take a picture in the photo booth and share race-day memories. Fans will also enjoy Q&As with drivers and NASCAR personalities, music and more.
"This partnership has evolved and grown in so many ways over the years, but it still boils down to both companies delivering consistent value to NASCAR fans, grocery shoppers and to the outstanding team of Save Mart, Lucky and FoodMaxx employees," said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager. "We are dedicating this season to Bob Piccinini with whom this partnership originated, and we look forward to carrying Bob's legacy forward in the years to come."
Save Mart served as title sponsor of the NASCAR Cup event from 1992-1997. It has combined with partners as co-title sponsor of the event since 1998. The event has been known as the Toyota/Save Mart 350 since 2007. The raceway also unveiled a new granite monument at the corner of the Turn 11 Lawn, which renames the area Piccinini Plaza, in honor of the Piccinini family's legacy at Sonoma Raceway. Bob Piccinini, Save Mart's Chairman and CEO passed away earlier this year. Save Mart has hosted hospitality for its employees and clients in this area since the beginning of its sponsorship.(Sonoma Raceway)(6-27-2015)
Watkins Glen International Named Best NASCAR Track: Each year the NASCAR Sprint Cup series takes place on two dozen tracks across the nation. Each track makes for its own unique racing style and fan experience. USA Today 10 Best's panel of NASCAR experts selected their 20 favorite venues as nominees for 'Best NASCAR Track,' and for the past four weeks, USA Today readers have been voting for their favorites. It was a close race between the winner and runner-up, but in the end it was Watkins Glen International, host of a double header weekend of top tier events, that snagged the title. Martinsville Speedway came in a close second.(see full list at USA Today)(6-27-2015)
ISC negotiating to operate Laguna Seca? UPDATE: On Monday, Monterey County officials confirmed they are in negotiations with the International Speedway Corporation on a potential concession agreement to operate Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Salinas, CA), which is a county park but has been associated with the nonprofit Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula since its inception. According to a statement from county officials, SCRAMP has been retained to manage the raceway on a monthly renewal basis since March 2014 while the county "has been exploring options for the management of the raceway to ensure its long-term success." One of those options is a potential agreement with ISC, which the statement called a "premier operator of motor sports entertainment facilities in the United States." The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider a potential raceway concession agreement with ISC during Tuesday's closed session. The statement, however, noted that any potential deal would be considered in open session with an opportunity for the public to comment.
The world-renowned racetrack at Laguna Seca was built in 1957 and has been operated by SCRAMP, a nonprofit organization, ever since. It's credited with distributing more than $12 million to Monterey Peninsula charitable and service groups, along with hundreds of millions in economic benefit to the regional economy. But the organization has struggled in recent years with the loss of MotoGP's Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix and its Indy Racing League (then known as Champ Car) event.
"Since 1957 SCRAMP has been committed to the successful future of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and, working hand-in-hand with its sponsors, racing organizations, race teams and volunteers, has firmly established it as one of the premier motor sports facilities in the world," said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of the track, in a prepared statement. ISC didn't return a late afternoon phone call from The Herald.(Monterey Herald)(6-23-2015)
UPDATE: A potential three-year deal for International Speedway Corp. to operate Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca does not come with the intention of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing there, a Monterey County Supervisor told NASCAR Talk. Dave Potter, Monterey County Supervisor of the 5th District, which includes the track, said that International Speedway Corp. has 90 days to complete its due diligence before completing a deal with the county to operate the 11-turn, 2.238-mile track. The Board of Supervisors of Monterey County approved the action Tuesday. Potter said "there is no intent to bring NASCAR racing to Laguna Seca. ISC says the configuration of the track doesn't work for NASCAR.'' An International Speedway Corp. official did not return requests for comment.(NBC Sports)(6-24-2015)
Grand Funk Railroad to perform pre-race concert at Darlington: Fitting into its platform of celebrating the early 70's during its Labor Day weekend events, Darlington Raceway will have 1970's rock 'n' roll icon Grand Funk Railroad perform the Bojangles' Southern 500 Pre-Race Concert Presented by Coca-Cola on September 6. Grand Funk Railroad, known for its No. 1 hits We're An American Band and The Loco-Motion, is one of the top-selling rock bands of the 1970's. Their 1973 album, We're An American Band, topped out at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard music charts. "What better way to celebrate the 1970's and our return to Labor Day weekend than by having rock legends Grand Funk Railroad perform our Bojangles' Southern 500 Pre-Race Concert Presented by Coca-Cola," Darlington Raceway President Chip Wile said. "Grand Funk Railroad's hit songs were some of the most memorable from the early 70's. They are an iconic name in rock music and a tremendous fit for our celebration."
Fans of Grand Funk Railroad have the exclusive opportunity to watch the concert from the front of the pre-race stage. In addition to the purchase of a Bojangles' Southern 500 grandstand ticket, a pre-race access pass may be purchased for an additional $45. This pass will not only give fans stage front access for the concert, but will also include an up close view of the Sprint Cup Series drivers as they are introduced to the crowd. Supplies are limited. The Tradition Returns to Labor Day weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 is set for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. The NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 5. Tickets are on sale now by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(6-24-2015)
Daytona 500 Tickets go on sale: Tickets for the Daytona 500, NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race-and the first ever following the completion of the $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project-will officially go on sale Monday, June 22 at 9:00am/et. Fans will have the first opportunity to witness the 2016 Daytona 500, to be held on Sunday, February 21, 2016, in the new motorsports stadium, experiencing unprecedented amenities that include 101,500 new, wider seats, thousands of premium club seats, 40 escalators and 17 elevators, 60 luxury suites, social "neighborhoods" and three concourse levels that will span the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Those wishing to attend "The Great American Race" will need to act quickly, as there will be a limited number of tickets available due to the reduced seating capacity in the new stadium. Fans should also note:
· Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.Daytona500.com.
· Hospitality and premium seat packages, including the Trioval Club and the Rolex 24 Lounge, and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race wristbands are also available.
· For all other Speedweeks events, children 12 and under are $10 in reserved grandstands and free in general admission areas and in the Sprint Fanzone.
· Fans can also visit PrimeSport.com, the new official ticket exchange and travel package provider of Daytona International Speedway. Offering multiple options for tickets, lodging and hospitality, PrimeSport is ideal for fans looking for the ultimate racing experience.
In addition to "The Great American Race," fans may purchase tickets and multi-day packages for the remaining events during Speedweeks, which officially kicks off with the 58th Rolex 24 At Daytona TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event on Jan. 30-31.(DIS)(6-18-2015)
Quicken Loans title sponsorship at Michigan unknown: Bill Emerson, the CEO of Quicken Loans, said Sunday that he was unaware of the length of the contract his company had to hold the naming rights for the June Sprint Cup race at MIS. "I don't know what the length of the term is, and we won't talk about [financial numbers]. But it's been a fantastic partnership," Emerson said. "As far as I know, we're continuing into the future with this relationship." Quicken Loans originally entered a one-year deal in the spring of 2012 to hold the naming rights of the June race at MIS, with an option to extend the agreement. Quicken Loans is also the title sponsor for the second-to-last Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. MIS and Michigan state tourism and government officials announced in October of 2014 that the August Sprint Cup race at MIS will continue to be named the Pure Michigan 400.(Toledo Blade)(6-16-2015)
PIR to be renamed in honor of Jeff Gordon for fall race: Phoenix International Raceway is about to become Jeff Gordon Raceway. For one day. PIR will honor the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion by formally renaming the 1-mile oval in his name for the Nov. 15 Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, azcentral sports has learned. Gordon, who has four career PIR wins, says he doesn't plan to drive after this season, which would make Phoenix his penultimate race. An official announcement is expected Friday. "We were thinking of it like an athlete getting the keys to the city," PIR President Bryan Sperber said. "It (the idea) took off from there. Starting with the quirky layout of our track, it seems like Phoenix always does things a little different.(Arizona Republic)(6-12-2015)
Goody's and Martinsville Speedway extend relationship: Dale Earnhardt Jr. understands the significance of the long-term relationship between Martinsville Speedway and Goody's and was excited when he found out the two had renewed their partnership for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500. "The great thing about the Martinsville-Goody's relationship is that it goes back over so many years. It really shows the kind of devotion that Goody's has to the sport and to the Martinsville racetrack and the area," said Earnhardt, a student of the history of the sport. "They're very proud of that relationship and they've grown it over the years. It's been very productive for them and you just sort of associate one with the other: Martinsville and Goody's." Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell and Joseph Juliano, Brand Director, Goody's, announced this week that the long relationship would continue with the renewal of Goody's sponsorship for the fall NASCAR Sprint Cup race for 2016. It will mark the 29th year of involvement between Goody's and Martinsville and the 36th Martinsville race sponsored by Goody's.(Martinsville Speedway)(6-11-2015)
Pocono to host poker tournament in July: Pocono Raceway announced the Fourth Annual Pocono Poker Tournament, benefitting The NASCAR Foundation and the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, will be held at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, PA, on Thursday, July 30. The event, taking place prior to the July 31-August 2 Pennsylvania 400 race weekend, will feature NASCAR drivers and celebrities, among them Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace and race fans. A limited number of playing spots are available. Fans can choose from four donation options: A $250 donation offers a pre-tournament, VIP meet-and-greet with drivers and celebrities on hand as well as entry to participate in the Poker Tournament; a $150 donation offers entry into pre-event VIP reception and attendance at the event as a spectator; a $100 donation reserves a seat in the poker tournament; and a $50 donation allows for fans to attend the event as spectators. The top-finishing fan will receive a choice between two exciting prizes - a VIP Race Experience at Pocono Raceway or a VIP Stay and Play Experience at Mohegan Sun. To register for the Pocono Poker Tournament, fans can visit NASCARfoundation.org.(Pocono Raceway)(6-7-2015)
Pocono to install video screen towers: Pocono Raceway announced two new video screen towers will be installed at the track. Each tower will feature two high-definition quality video screens to provide all fans with new visuals of live action, entertainment, real-time statistics, and fan engagement. The new video towers are being designed, engineered, installed and operated by ANC Sports Enterprises, LLC, a full service technology service provider specializing in designing video display systems. Most recently, ANC designed and integrated the Cleveland Cavaliers scoreboard, which is the largest arena center-hung scoreboard in the country and the Seattle Mariners, the largest high-definition display in Major League Baseball. Pocono Raceway will be the first major NASCAR track to feature ANC's award-winning technology. The video screens will stand on the top of two new 60' standalone structures. Each of the four video screens will measure 24.15' high by 30.45' wide. Specifically designed for the tricky-triangle, the double-sided displays will stand at either side of pit row, providing fans in the grandstand, club boxes or camping in the infield with a clear view of one of the sides of displays. The new screens will be deployed and operational for the Pennsylvania 400, July 31- August 2.(Pocono Raceway)(6-5-2015)
Pocono renews partnership with Lehigh Valley Health Network: Pocono Raceway announced a multi-year extension of their partnership with Lehigh Valley Health Network as the 'Official Health Care Provider of Pocono Raceway.' Additionally, as previously announced last week, the 50/50 raffle being hosted at the Raceway during the upcoming Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 race weekend will benefit the Children's Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Pocono Raceway will continue to utilize LVHN's medical staff and resources during their annual NASCAR and INDYCAR Series race weekends. LVHN will continue to provide support with a medical location behind the Grandstand and inside the track at the LVHN Infield Care Center. The 50/50 raffle being held at Pocono Raceway, in conjunction with the Mattioli Foundation, will benefit the Children's Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Individuals, over the age of 21, can participate by purchasing a 50/50 ticket from one of the roaming volunteers dressed in bright yellow shirts. A random winner will be announced prior to the end of the Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400, but tickets may be purchased anytime during the race weekend.(Pocono Raceway)(6-5-2015)
2015 National Speedway Directory at Race Tracks: The highly anticipated source for race tracks will be on shelves in early April. The 2015 National Speedway Directory lists a total of over 1,300 auto racing facilities. It is the most comprehensive publication of active tracks in the United States and Canada available anywhere. This book lists detailed information on oval tracks, dragstrips and road courses. The phone numbers, addresses, exact directions, nights of operation and type of racing are included in this handy 592-page paper-back book.
Listings for approximately 300 sanctions, 60 racing publications, and 70 racing related museums, pushes the total to over 1,730 motorsports related listings. The 2015 schedules for over 175 racing series with 3,000 events are also included.
The new edition is essential for planning vacations, track days and race outings. Race fans and industry professionals can depend on the National Speedway Directory for the most accurate and updated directory of race tracks in North America.
The price for one copy is $15.00 (includes postage) or two copies for $25.00. Orders can be placed online at www.speedwaysonline.com or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . Checks or money orders can be sent to: National Speedway Directory - 909 Seneca Road - Wilmette, IL - 60091.
About National Speedway Directory and Track Guide National Speedway Directory (www.speedwaysonline.com) is the trusted information source for the motorsports industry. It prints listings of oval tracks, dragstrips, road courses, sanctions, publications, museums and race schedules. National Speedway Directory has been published annually since 1975. The book is also available as a digital edition for iPhone and Android devices. Track Guide is the new iPhone and Android app, which puts race track and event information and directions right in the palm of your hand. Users can locate their favorite tracks or events, anywhere, anytime.(5-13-2015)
Tracks could lose more seats: Executives from Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns eight tracks that host NASCAR Sprint Cup races, suggested Wednesday that they might reduce seating capacity at some of their facilities. SMI reduced seating capacity last year by 41,000 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and 17,000 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. When asked during a conference call with investor analysts about any further reductions, SMI hinted more could be made. "In my thoughts, we probably have two or three or maybe even four of our speedways where we have some extra seats, and we are working on some plans to adjust that excess capacity,'' said William Brooks, vice chairman and chief financial officer and treasurer for SMI.(NBC Sports)(4-30-2015)
Financial reports provide insight into seating capacities for tracks that host NASCAR races: Each year, publicly traded companies that own race tracks must list their grandstand seating capacities. International Speedway Corp., which owns 12 tracks that NASCAR races, issued its report in January. Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns eight tracks NASCAR races, and Dover Motorsports Inc., which owns one track with Sprint Cup races, issued their reports last week. With those reports, a list of seating capacities can be compiled for the NASCAR circuit. Only Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway - both privately owned - do not release such information. The Indianapolis Star has reported the seating capacity at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as 235,000. Among tracks that report seating capacity, Daytona International Speedway remains the largest at 147,000 - but that won't last much longer. Once the Daytona Rising project is completed, Daytona will have about 101,000 seats. That project is set to be completed in time for next year's Daytona 500. Six of the top 10 tracks that report seating capacities are owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc., including Bristol Motor Speedway, which is set to take over the No. 1 spot next year with its seating capacity of 146,000.(see more at NBC Sports)(3-10-2015)
Tracks report big profits, even with attendance down: Ticket sales are down but profits are up for the racetracks that have NASCAR events. The tracks cleared more than $100 million in 2014. It sounds as if, even though they are spending money tearing down seats at many places and putting up seats at a couple of others, they have money they can spend on other projects.
There are two main track operators with NASCAR national races: International Speedway Corp., which has a majority of its stock owned by the NASCAR-owning France family, has 21 Cup events (including the Sprint Unlimited and Daytona 500 qualifying races); and Speedway Motorsports Inc., which has a majority of its stock owned by Bruton Smith, has 13 Cup events (including the All-Star Race). Dover Motorsports Inc., also a publicly traded company, has two. Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway are owned privately and aren't required to release their earnings.
ISC and Dover released their 2014 results in late January, and SMI released its results Wednesday. The three companies combined for $101.64 million in profits in 2014. Although the companies do have other events besides NASCAR (some NHRA races, some IndyCar races), NASCAR makes up 86% of ISC's revenues and, as of 2013, about 82% of SMI revenues.
Ever wonder why television gets to dictate so much? The tracks report that ticket sales were down 2.5% over the past year as they took in over $239 million in ticket sales. Meanwhile, they took in approximately $388 million in television revenues in 2014. That's right. They make much more money from the television contracts than they do from tickets sold. It wasn't that way 10 years ago, when the tracks took in approximately $450 million in ticket sales. Overall revenues were up 0.8% thanks to television revenue being up about 3.6-4.2% depending on the company. And the tracks reported that profits from core operations (when taking out various accounting measures) were up 2.6%.(see full story at ESPN.com)(3-5-2015)
NASCAR considering multi-year track contracts: After a longtime policy of one-year engagements, NASCAR is poised to enter long-term relationships with its racetracks. There have been multiple meetings after the 2014 season to discuss the concept of multiyear sanctioning agreements that effectively would set much of the Sprint Cup schedule beyond the current season for the first time. NASCAR traditionally has signed annual deals with every track, pushing the yearly release of the schedule to late summer or early fall. "I think it's fair to say we have had discussions with the tracks about multiyear agreements," NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell told USA TODAY Sports. "We're not there yet. If we can put something together where it's helpful for fans to know, our goal is to get the schedule out as early as we can. That helps fans making plans for going to tracks. Some fans travel a long way. If we can make that better through a multiyear (deal), that is something we're considering." A multiyear deal would offer tracks the ability to sell season ticket packages and sponsorships with more flexibility and security.(USA Today)(1-21-2015)
Motorsports facilities get tax break: Track operators got the tax break they've been waiting for all year when the U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a tax extenders package for the remainder of 2014. Included in the extensive list of tax breaks to be continued was a provision that allows motorsports facilities to depreciate new construction over seven years instead of the life of the project, which typically is 25 years or more. The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the provision will result in an $11 million tax break for motorsports facilities in 2015, a total $32 million from 2015 to 2019 and $33 million from 2015 to 2024. It was part of an estimated $41.6 billion in tax breaks over the next 10 years that were approved by the House of Representatives 378-46 earlier this month and then by the Senate 76-16 (60 votes need for passage) on Tuesday. All that awaits now is the expected signature of President Barack Obama. The provision is similar to those granted to amusement parks, and track operators felt that the same break should apply to their facilities. After arguing the issue with the Internal Revenue Service, the issue became moot when Congress, as part of the Jobs Creation Act of 2004, granted the seven-year depreciation provision for new motorsports construction. The provision covers all motorsports facilities, not just NASCAR facilities.(Sporting News)(12-18-2014)
Atlanta removing 17,000 seats, Charlotte 41,000 UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway's parent company, Speedway Motorsports, Inc., announced Tuesday that they will remove 17,000 seats from the track's grandstands. The company anticipates using those areas for premium hospitality, advertising and other facility purposes. Their sister track, Charlotte Motor Speedway, is losing 41,000 seats.(wgxa.tv), see image of the CMS construction at Slugger Labbe's Twitter.(12-10-2014)
UPDATE: Alterations announced this week are in line with a trend of tracks removing seats. Charlotte, after removing 41,000 seats this winter, will be down to permanent seating of 89,000 in 2015, a startlingly low capacity considering its location in NASCAR's epicenter. But it's par for the course. Atlanta is removing 17,000 seats to get down to 75,000; Dover is removing 17,500 seats to get down to 95,500; and Daytona is removing its backstretch grandstands of 46,500 next spring to go to 101,500 seats. Other tracks on the circuit have made similar changes.
At its peak in 2007, International Speedway Corp.'s 12 major tracks had 1.1 million grandstand seats (not including suites). After the Daytona renovation, ISC will be down 30 percent to approximately 761,000 seats.
In 2013 alone, the following ISC tracks cut seats: Talladega (from 108,000 to 78,000), Richmond (91,000 to 71,000), Chicagoland (69,000 to 55,500), Michigan (84,000 to 71,000), California (81,000 to 68,000), Darlington (60,000 to 58,000) and Homestead (56,000 to 46,000). Any additional cuts likely will be revealed when its annual report comes out in January.
With the current Charlotte and Atlanta reductions, Speedway Motorsports has cut 101,000 seats (12 percent) across seven of its tracks since 2009, although it added 38,000 at Kentucky when it moved a Cup race to that track. SMI, which includes suites in its capacity estimates, cut capacity in 2013 at Atlanta (from 98,000 to 92,000), Bristol (158,000 to 153,000) and New Hampshire (96,000 to 95,000).
Dover listed 135,000 seats in 2009, so its reduction in recent years is 29 percent. At one point, it reduced 20,000 seats by replacing the current seats with wider ones for more fan comfort, a move done by many racetracks. Indianapolis and Pocono, privately owned, do not have to report their capacities, but Indianapolis also has removed seats.(see full article at the Sporting News)(12-11-2014)
NASCAR ticket sales see smaller drop in 2013: Ticket revenues at NASCAR tracks continued to decline in 2013, but at a slower rate than in previous years, federal security filings show. Attendance at NASCAR's three publicly traded companies - which host 35 of the 38 race weekends (36 points races and two special events) - dropped for a sixth consecutive year:
" Admission revenue at Charlotte-based Speedway Motorsports Inc., fell 8.6% to $106 million. That's an improvement from an 11% decline in 2012.
" International Speedway Corp., the country's largest track operator and owner of Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, lost 4.6% of its admission revenue to $129.8 million after losing 6% in 2012.
" Delaware's Dover Motorsports, which lost nearly a quarter of its admissions revenue for its two NASCAR race weekends in 2012, had a decline of 8.7% to $9.5 million.
Overall, revenues of $245.4 million are down 47% from their peak of $467.4 million in 2007.(in part from the Charlotte Observer)(5-24-2014)
Long Pond, PA
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, August 1, 2015, 11:35am/et
TV: NBCSN 11:30am/et