Four races. Four wins. Four manufacturers. Yet all anyone wants to talk about is one big issue: the number of people not watching in the stands.
As the 2012 Sprint Cup schedule takes teams to a track known to have attendance issues, it’s fitting to find four reasons for the attendance woes.
- Time: I can’t get my daughter to sit through an hour-long church service without bringing a cavalcade of items. Four-hour races aren’t family friendly. And with money tight, events that aren’t family friendly aren’t going to get top billing, especially when families have a DVR and can get through the race in 90 minutes.
- Tracks: It’s harder to pass and easier to see passing when watching on HD from the house. Bruton is listening.
- Talent: Who is the next big thing in NASCAR? Trevor Bayne can’t even get a ride in the Nationwide Series, and he won the Daytona 500. NASCAR needs a young star. Or three.
- Tradition: I’m not against Night Ranger. Maybe I am. When larger musical acts perform, it can push attendance. Big name country acts, rock acts, whatever acts need to be at the track so that races become events.
This should be a great time to celebrate racing. Ford, Toyota, Chevy and Dodge each have a win in 2012. I have three wins and a fake 310 dollars in my pocket after Brad Keselowski’s Bristol triumph. With that in mind, my fake picks for the sake of entertainment and entertainment alone.
Fifteen fake dollars on Tony Stewart at 7/1
Jimmie Johnson owns this track the way Kyle Busch owns Bristol. We saw how that went last weekend.
Fifteen fake dollars on Matt Kenseth at 8/1
He has been in every race this year. Plus Jack Roush has a win at Auto Club Speedway in five of the last seven years.
Ten fake dollars on Greg Biffle at 12/1
The best driver this year to not win a race. Yup; I said it. Add the Roush factor, this seems like easy money, which we now know is dead money.
Five fake dollars on Clint Bowyer at 30/1
Michael Waltrip Racing had three drivers in the top five last week. Bowyer loves this track. This doesn’t seem like a deep plunge.
Five fake dollars on AJ Allmendinger at 30/1
This does seem like a deep plunge, but it’s all for the sake of a balance column.
Here’s what The Spread thinks. Enjoy the race, live or on TV, and insert random catchphrase here.
Jimmie Johnson 6/1
Tony Stewart 7/1
Kyle Busch 7/1
Matt Kenseth 8/1
Jeff Gordon 8/1
Carl Edwards 8/1
Kevin Harvick 10/1
Kasey Kahne 12/1
Brad Keselowski 12/1
Greg Biffle 12/1
Denny Hamlin 20/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 20/1
Ryan Newman 30/1
Clint Bowyer 30/1
AJ Allmendinger 30/1
Mark Martin 35/1
Martin Truex Jr 35/1
Jeff Burton 50/1
Marcos Ambrose 60/1
Kurt Busch 60/1
Jamie McMurray 60/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 60/1
Joey Logano 60/1
Paul Menard 60/1
Regan Smith 100/1
Brendan Gaughan 100/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
David Ragan 100/1
Aric Almirola 100/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 50/1