This isn't good news

You might have seen this information, it’s stunning to me. The very latest surveys on nascar attendance show that only 10% of their fans are between the ages of 18 and 24. I wonder how close that number is to the current short track fan base? The age group that should be busy building new cars and going short track racing are not interested.
So that explains the empty seats at nascar races, but sure looks bad for the future of short tracks.
Probably doesn’t help that nascar hides some of it’s races on tv channels few people get.

Troubling indeed. I notice that every year at Volusia during the Winternationals. Yes, I am a big sprint car fan, and the February shows are outstanding. But who is watching them? I feel like I am at bingo night, or maybe the early bird at the senior center.

How can this be? Sprints are fast and thrilling, yet young fans (who don’t know any better) buy tickets to watch some clown on a skateboard or maybe riding a bike up a ramp.

I don’t know how to win this generation over, but I am sure we can’t do it be racing more beat-up, antique Monte Carlos.

Pains me to agree with Albee, but it’s very clearly a major issue. I see this same issue in my industry in a way. I attend trainings all over the country and all of these professional marketing and sales types are always pushing that we need to target the older people, because they have the money. Which is true, but I’ve always felt that you have to at least keep in the mind of the younger ones so you’re there when they turn into the 25 and ups.
I almost think racing is too much of a “purist” thing. Look at what the younger crowd does buy tickets for: Supercross, Nitro Circus/stunt stuff, Monster Jam, even drifting events. All of these not only have the racing side, but they’re also a show as well. Short track racing is ten minutes of cars going around, then ten minutes of nothing at all, then a few more minutes of cars, then more nothing. Some nights its boring to me, and I’m a fan and a racer!

I don’t know why this is news to you. This has been mentioned on here before, many times. Just not racing but anything that we were brought doing as youth and our parents did for entertainment is not a big thing with today’s youth. Golf is taking a hit also but I think has a better chance with the the youth of America with the young players winning in the past month. Nascar has a few young stars coming up the ranks, 18 years E. Jones is one. However, a set of golf clubs is a lot cheaper then any type of race car they can drive. Plus can today’s bumble bee sounding cars that they drive relate to v-8’s on the track?
Do you know who Ricky Fowler is. I bet more kids know who he is then Jimmy Johnson is and both of their pictures are in the paper today and Ricky wins was a better story then Johnson’s win.

Hey Hey Hey!

Leave us old farts alone! We like our bingo!!!

Bones,

I believe it is a societal thing. Today’s kids just are not the same.

I look at it like this. We all get a slice of time to live & pass away in.

Prior to 1900 or so there were no motorized vehicles, regardless if you were the King or the serf.

In 2050 who knows what the status of private transportation will be.

But we grew up during the advent of the GTO, & you sir, are wheeling a bad-a Sprint Car.

A good slice of time to be existing in, indeed!

Matt, as has been said already this issue has been mentioned many times. I myself have noted on numerous occasions there is an enormous disconnect in racing. There is a line drawn in the sand between big time NASCAR and our Short Track community. The #1 problem is Brian France right now. The only reason he is in the position he has, is because of his name. He is ruining our sport. When I was a kid, I would go to Seekonk, Thompson, Stafford, Waterford etc up here and see shirts hats and jackets ranging from Morgan Shepherd all the way to Ernie Irvan and Dale Earnhardt… Now, it’s rare I even see one in my travels around the tracks all year… It’s not an entertaining product anymore, the cars are too aero dependent and just do not produce good racing. It’s becoming a lot like F1 in that respect, great background noise for a nap. It doesn’t attract any new fans and it has alienated it’s older existing now former fans. This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone… :anim_buttkick:

The first place most people see racing as a kid if they aren’t from a racing family of sorts is usually TV. If the product on TV bores them and doesn’t excite them, they pick up the remote and change the channel. That is absolutely what is happening. The only NEW racers you really seem to see anymore in my observations are either my age who grew up during NASCAR’s absolute competitive peak in the 80s and 90s, or kids from a long time racing family.

PHIL is the future!!??!! Truly a concern I had not thought of! :confused:

Actually, thank you for your interest, and your sacrifice, Phil.

Hope to see you wheel a car (naturally, next to Garrity) before it is all over.

[B][I]Yep! All grey hair(or no more hair) in the granstands, and a lot in the pit area too.

One thing that have changed a lot too is the time spent at the track.

When my father brought me at race tracks in the '60s//'70s, we would get there at 5.30, hot laps et 6, racing @ 7 sharp. Practice consisted of very few laps. All features were under 30//35 laps, and many as short as 10 laps, for feature that is. More often than not, you had 100+ cars there, 3 classes, and by 10, it was all said and done.

Now, I’ve seen race tracks opening at 8 in the morning for an evening show. That is when there was no practices the night b4. Who can spare that much time today? Family plays a lot bigger role in life today than in the 60s or 70s.

And one big killer too is not many race tracks have a defined season program anymore. When I started on dirt, we did not needed a schedule, from mid May to mid October, every saturday night at 7, that was race night. No need to check. Same deal, every week. Once a year maybe we had a special with a stunt man and another time an outside series. That was it.

Everybody new without checking anything, just go there, at 7 there will be racing. Now, many race tracks race bi-weekly, or once a month, do not have local classes, always bring in so and so series, you never know how much the gate will be, if it is open, so on and so forth. This does not hepl either.[/I][/B]

[QUOTE=OldSchool+;159306]PHIL is the future!!??!! Truly a concern I had not thought of! :confused:

Actually, thank you for your interest, and your sacrifice, Phil.

Hope to see you wheel a car (naturally, next to Garrity) before it is all over.[/QUOTE]

What in god’s name are you talking about? You even have me confused this time :confused::confused::confused::confused:

Okay, in [SIZE=“5”]The Name Of God[/SIZE], it was a comment based on the previous post by…you.

“The only NEW racers you really seem to see anymore in my observations are either my age who grew up during NASCAR’s absolute competitive peak in the 80s and 90s, or kids from a long time racing family.”

Am assuming you is the “next gen” racer (The POT {Phil Of Tommorow}).

[QUOTE=Matt Albee;159297] The very latest surveys on nascar attendance show that only 10% of their fans are between the ages of 18 and 24. I wonder how close that number is to the current short track fan base? The age group that should be busy building new cars and going short track racing are not interested.
.[/QUOTE]

Not sure it was any different 20-30 years ago,I didn’t build my 1st race car until I was 29,when I finally had some disposable income…Didn’t attend a NASCAR race until I was 26 :confused:

[QUOTE=Boneman;159298]Troubling indeed.

:rolleyes:I don’t know how to win this generation over, but I am sure we can’t do it be racing more beat-up, antique Monte Carlos.:rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

$10,000 to win this weekend (2 day event) at VSP for those vintage Montes,50+ expected to show up

:auto003::auto003::auto003:

I’m aware of how the younger kids aren’t interested in short track racing, or nascar. They still drag race of course. And yes, it’s certainly been mentioned on this and other boards. What really surprised me about this survey was the actual number. 10%. If the racers and fans of the future only comprise 10% of the current fan base, there isn’t going to be anyone in the stands or on the track in 20 years. These pathetic 15 and 16 car fields are going to seem huge in the future. Could be why nascar is building a stadium where DIS used to sit. They’ve read the tea leaves and are preparing for other sports events.
From what i remember, it was a lot different 20 or 30 years ago. I was in the demographic, and it wasn’t at all unusual to see a lot of teenagers at the stock car races. Both as fans and as racers. But that sure changed.

Bones…I love the sprint cars, & I respect the monte guys also.

I would suggest if you ain’t an “app” :waffen093:, you ain’t of interest, regardless.

[QUOTE=kendo;159316]$10,000 to win this weekend (2 day event) at VSP for those vintage Montes,50+ expected to show up

:auto003::auto003::auto003:[/QUOTE]

Maybe, maybe. I know when i was growing up, the local mechanics and gas station guys would grab a car from a salvage yard or the back row of a used car lot, knock the glass out, take out the interior, take off the muffler and go racing. Mainly because the local track would pay fifty, a hundred or two hundred to win on Friday or Saturday night. Meaning, the guys might be able to make some side money racing.
The plan might be for track owners to start concentrating on getting the young guys interested by putting up huge purses like that for essentially stock cars. Though in this case they should be imports, or at least something the younger crowd can relate to.

Great point, I loved racing when I was a young kid…But 18-22 I was in college drinking and chasing girls, I could have cared less about anything racing related. I didn’t start racing until I was 27, went to NSS during speedweeks when they had 28 tour mods and supers and was hooked. I’m not saying that’s everyone but what person 18-24 is going to sit around on a Sunday (or a Saturday night even worse) and watch cars go in circles on TV, they have better things to do.

Certainly, the numbers for that crucial demographic are not very impressive, but racing has always been a sport that is followed by fans of an older age group and largely ignored by the younger ones.

As a high school kid of the 80’s (St Thomas Aquinas, Ft Lauderdale), there were 3 kids out of 1400 who cared anything at all about racing. 1 worked for a crew at Hialeah. 1 had a dad that had helped the Allisons a decade earlier and myself, strictly a fan at the time.

I can remember sitting in the grandstands at Daytona and Atlanta and noticing the amount of senior citizens that dominated the grandstands, this was in the 80’s and 90’s. I actually think nascar may have a slighter younger crowd today than in past years.

On a positive note for the future of the sport: I co-own a racing supply business that outfits a fair amount of kids in helmets, HANS and firesuits. Whether or not these kids will continue to race into their 20’s, 30’s and beyond will be the question?

Yes racing is in trouble and I fear many other sports and activities that are not involved with the hand held device world of today. My grandson is in 1st grade and his mastery of hand helds is scary. Fortunately my son and his wife keep their son and daughter involved in outdoor sports like baseball and softball. When I am at the poker table half or more of the players are paying more attention to the hand held than the game. Fine by me as I am studying my opponents whether I am in a hand or not. Go to a restaruant if there are 4 people at the table one or more is on a hand held. The only solution I can see is to engage in cost efficient ways of running the sport with fewer fans and participants or for the major organizations to dramatically retool there presentation to attract new fans and reconnect with the old ones. Every time I hear a discussion of NASCAR on TV at least half say I don’t watch it anymore as the races are too long and boring.Hand helds provide instant activity on multiple levels.

[QUOTE=Phil Jacques;159304]

The first place most people see racing as a kid if they aren’t from a racing family of sorts is usually TV. If the product on TV bores them and doesn’t excite them, they pick up the remote and change the channel. That is absolutely what is happening. The only NEW racers you really seem to see anymore in my observations are either my age who grew up during NASCAR’s absolute competitive peak in the 80s and 90s, or kids from a long time racing family.[/QUOTE]

Seats needed at Daytona before Dale Sr came along,Any questions?