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International Speedway Corp. reports attendance drop in second quarter


International Speedway Corp. reported Monday that Cup attendance was down an average of 6.5 percent for the six races it held in the second quarter.

Races during the second quarter, which ended May 31, were at Phoenix, Auto Club Speedway, Martinsville, Richmond, Talladega and Kansas.

During its investor analyst call, International Speedway Corp. reported that admission revenue at Talladega and Auto Club were “comparable” to 2016.

Admissions revenue for the second quarter was $28.7 million, which was down about $1.8 million compared to the same period from last year.

Motorsports revenue for the quarter was $122 million, which ISC stated was primarily due to TV broadcast rights.

ISC reported that it has had “mixed results” for its recent Cup weekends at Michigan and Daytona, which are in the third quarter. ISC reported increases in attendance and admissions revenue for Daytona but did not state how much of an increase.

ISC also stated that advance ticket sales for the August Cup weekend at Watkins Glen were “tracking in line” with 2016. Watkins Glen sold out its grandstands last year for a second consecutive year.

Advance sales for remaining ISC races in the third and fourth quarter are down approximately 5 percent, the company reported.

“We remain confident our consumer-focused marketing strategies are working to slow recent attendance revenue related trends,’’ said John Saunders, president of ISC. “Our initiatives will continue to target new and lapsed customers through all traditional media, social and digital channels. The objective here is to reignite and protect the base, grow casuals into avids and spark interest and demand with the next generation of fans.

“Our strategies are focused on value-added options that enhance the live motorsports experience for our fans, including exclusive VIP hospitality experiences with driver appearances and Q&A sessions. We’ve included ticket packages aimed at youth and younger demographics with kid pricing and family targeted promotions.’’

Asked about where the disconnect is in an improving economy, Saunders said:

“Since our last call, Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. has announced his retirement (from full Cup racing) at the end of the season. … When you look at Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart and certainly Dale Jr., that’s having an impact.

“The good news is that we’re seeing these younger drivers, and they’re younger, 19-year-old kids coming along, and you’ve got Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney. As the emotional connection is made with these drivers, I think we’re going to see a resurgence and with a younger demographic. There are some short-term things that are working, and there are some things that are going to take longer to resonate.’’

ISC also reported:

  • Its board recently approved a project to renovate the infield at Richmond International Raceway and “introduce innovative fan experiences.’’ Details were not disclosed.
  • It has one Cup entitlement sponsorship open in the fourth quarter, which is comparable to last year.
  • The average ticket price for Cup events during the second quarter was $71.96, which is comparable to last year.
  • Viewership of Cup Series has seen a growth in viewers age 18-34 in 13 of 16 races.
  • More than half of its revenue is secured through NASCAR’s 10-year broadcast agreement and multi-year partnership agreements.

For the full ISC report and statement, go here.

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NASCAR America: Looking back at Cup winners this year (video)

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The NASCAR Cup Series is through 19 racers. There are 17 more races to be contested, including seven before the Cup playoffs.

It’s been a rough time for many and a successful time for a select few.

There’s still plenty of racing to go. Who will see their name added to the list of winners in 2017 and, more importantly, who still wins a race to make it in the playoffs?

Check out the video above.

NASCAR America: Can Team Penske get back on track in Indianapolis? (video)

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Roger Penske is used to winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He owns a record 16 Indy 500 victories there.

But Penske still has yet to win a Brickyard 400 at IMS. While in other years, Team Penske’s chances may have been stronger, coming into the 2017 Brickyard 400 is a whole other ballgame.

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Teammate Brad Keselowski has had his own struggles, dropping from third to eighth in the standings.

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NASCAR America: Kyle Busch needs to be aware of Martin Truex Jr. at Brickyard (video)

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Kyle Busch is well aware of his wins drought, not having won in his last 36 Cup starts.

But he also gains confidence and optimism from having won the last two Brickyard 400s.

So how will that impact the weekend?

On Friday’s NASCAR America, Dale Jarrett said Indy “plays into Busch’s hand,” but also to look out for Martin Truex Jr.

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NASCAR America: Significance of winning at Indianapolis (video)

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On Friday’s edition of NASCAR America, two-time Brickyard 400 winner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Brickyard-winning crew chief Slugger Labbe, who led Paul Menard to a Brickyard 400 win, both discussed the importance of winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — as well as how to do it.

Check out the video above.