Ty Dillon was asked Friday about the sport’s status, bringing more fans to NASCAR and what else can be done for existing fans.
“I have a lot of thoughts on it,” Dillon said.
And he proceeded to share a few of his ideas. Here’s what he had to say:
“I think if you look at Charlotte last week for the 600, we had great attendance and an amazing race. And viewership has been up most of the year this year for our sport. As technology grows, we’ve got to do things different. Sitting still in the stands is just not the way that the world is going to keep going. I think the fact that we’re taking out stands isn’t as bad of a thing as if we can find new ways to bring fans to the track in just a different way.
“I think we can take out stands and add entertainment decks and change the outlook. I think tracks are doing a good job of adding more motorhome parking for fans. That’s the high-end kind of side, but we need more for the college kids to sit by the track, listen to a concert, and watch the race. We need multiple dimensions of entertainment at our sport. We’ve got to get them here, because once they get here, they love our sport. Our sport is incredible. It’s one of the best live sports there is.
“So, taking out stands doesn’t need to be seen as a negative. We’ve just got to find an approach to keep whether it’s standing room or a party deck or like at Indy where they have, I think it’s the (Snake Pit). We need to do that everywhere and not just confine our fans to sitting in the stands. As a young person myself, you go to concerts and parties and people want to move around. They want to see different angles and it’s the way that the mind is kind of growing with the younger ages. You’ve got to be able to entertain them at multiple levels so, if they can move around to different parts of the track and it’s more of an open atmosphere.
“If I were to rebuild a track, I’d build a short track or a mile-size track with no grandstands but find a way where the track is viewable from all standing sections and then find ways to make money in that way. And, I am no track promoter. This is just a dream of a race car driver, but I think we’ve got to continue to find new ways to entertain.”
Dillon also had other ideas for tracks, saying:
“I think (Pocono, which will host a Cup doubleheader weekend next year) has always been the first to say hey, we’ll take on something new. And it’s worked out.
“I think more tracks should be aggressive in approach as far as trying something new. It worked out for Charlotte last year with the Roval. That was a great race.
“I was running this morning and I know we have a road course (at Pocono). And that’s an interesting thought if we, way on down the road, (ran the) triangle (one day) and then we did the road course the next day.
“I think we’ve just got to keep finding new ways to entertain. Our sport doesn’t need to go to the same tracks the same weekends, I think, every weekend every year. I think we’ve got to give new opportunities.”
Dillon had other ideas on what could be done for fans not at the track, noting:
“I think another thing that would be cool for the future of our sport is if we could live stream from inside of every single car. If we had an in-car camera in every single car and each driver could live-stream that view from their social account, I think that would be big. It creates that interaction. Now we get back to our phones and we go through and see and we can answer questions that they might have seen and we could replay it and go back through it with them.
“There is no reason why we shouldn’t have in-car cameras in every single car these days, and provide more specific information for the specific fan. You can stream every minute of every sport on your phone right now. And the more access we give to a younger crowd, the more we’re going to attract that younger crowd.
“We have a sport that we can put people inside the car, and we’ve got to use it. We’ve got to use it to our advantage. We’ve got to use some kind of communication to put a driver communicating to a fan from inside the race car during the race. Whether everybody complains about it or not, it’s going to take us to another level as far as the future goes.”