International Speedway Corp., sees attendance increase at some tracks

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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 percent 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 percent to 58 percent.

“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.’’