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This cant be good news for auto racing when we are all gone

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  • This cant be good news for auto racing when we are all gone

    http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/auto...g-cars-a-pass/
    Live like Dave

  • #2
    This is a very big issue for racing. It seems to be a bigger factor in certain parts of the country more than others and also seems to be especially true among those youths who are among the more "educated". When even NASCAR is no longer attracting the youth market you know something is going on. The only exceptions seem to be the rally type cars running in the X-Games and the drift and tuner cars (and the sophisticated sound systems that go with them) that young people are still interested in. I've been to drag races, both paved and dirt short tracks as well as superspeedways the last few years and it's been very noticeable that the average age of the fans has increased a lot. Couple that with the fact that the internal combustion engine is starting on a gradual decline when it comes to usage over the next few decades and auto racing is at a real turning point.

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    • #3
      I am a part of Generation Y and I love auto racing. There are others like me, auto racing will never die, but it may lose some of it's base. They should have expected that with the Global Warming stuff they try to teach us and the overall feeling of 'cars are bad mmkay?' throughout all textbooks in school. A lot more kids play video games and have shorter attention spans, meaning, they don't like to sit and watch 4-5 hour long races on TV that 'bore' them. I should know, I see it all around me. I think golf and auto racing are awesome, but most other kids don't...
      I am a fan of the Verizon IndyCar Series, Formula 1, and AMA Supercross. Go Oriol, Seabass, RHR, and J.R.

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      • #4
        Sure racing is doomed if the author of this article is the insightful visionary with his keyboard on the pulse of the youth generation and posesses the wisdom to understand the world we peons only live in and can predict the future. Racing will flourish far more than his journalism career.
        "You can't arrest those guys, they're folk heroes"
        "They're criminals"
        "Well most folk heroes started out as criminals"

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        • #5
          Somehow, I think this will change when they start having kids in greater numbers. Things change when Jr. comes around. And where is this author based? This is maybe true in the Northeast or in SF...

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          • #6
            My feeling is that auto racing is going the way of horse racing.

            Back in the 60's, horse racing was still fairly popular in the San Francisco area. Just a few miles from me was a large track, Bay Meadows, which had two tracks (one dirt and one turf), seating for about 14,000 in a grandstand built in the 1930s in a beautiful art-deco style. Stables for over 500 horses were a part of the overall facility. On race days the commuter trains that run between San Francisco and San Jose would stop at the track station.

            In the 60s you would see people of all ages going to the track. By the 80s, you'd know it was a race day because there would be an influx of older gentlemen on the train, all studying the Racing Form. Very few younger (say in their 20s or 30s) people would be seen getting off at the track. By the 90s, the track was in dire financial straits, and sold off about half the property (one track and the stable areas) for development for offices and housing. The money from that kept them going for a while, but by the mid 2000s it was clear the track was never going to make money again. The facility was closed, sold, and torn up in 2008. The last remaining track here in the Bay Area, Golden Gate Fields, is hanging on by its fingernails.

            Today, horse racing is supported pretty much by the income from pari-mutual betting at the track, and in a few states, off-track. The equivalent of the Indy500, the Kentucky Derby, has seen a big decline in numbers. HALF the TV sets in America (share) in 1975 that were turned on were tuned to the Derby. In the last few years, even with an enormous marketing and production effort by NBC, the race only gets about a 20 percent share .... well down from 1975.

            http://tvbythenumbers.com/2008/05/06...1975-2007/3526

            For those who think Robin Miller was joking about allowing betting at Indycar races when he was on WindTunnel a couple of weeks ago, he wasn't. It is one way to get some attention back to the sport, and may be the only way to keep the series running. The only thing that makes horse racing "interesting" today is betting ... NASCAR, IICS, and other auto racing series need to become "relevant" to the young people of today, or in the future there will be confusion over who was the better racer .... Mario Andretti or Bill Shoemaker.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BadazzZ06 View Post
              Today, horse racing is supported pretty much by the income from pari-mutual betting at the track, and in a few states, off-track. The equivalent of the Indy500, the Kentucky Derby, has seen a big decline in numbers. HALF the TV sets in America (share) in 1975 that were turned on were tuned to the Derby. In the last few years, even with an enormous marketing and production effort by NBC, the race only gets about a 20 percent share .... well down from 1975.

              http://tvbythenumbers.com/2008/05/06...1975-2007/3526
              OK... must say that's a rather 'unique' way to look at the Derby numbers during NBC's tenure...

              I don't agree.... It actually looks like a substantial rebound and growth period to me... and I have a few press releases I can forward if you like. They might be of interest... One from 2009 that starts out "Kentucky Derby Scores Highest Rating in 17 Years". The other from 2010 reads "2010 Kentucky Derby Is Most Watched in 21 Years".

              Hate to be predictable... (and I'm sure many saw this next line coming a furlong away), but the powers in charge of the Indy-500 would KILL to have the Derby's current viewership trends...

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              • #8
                I suspect if you give the numbers for all traditional sports scrutiny you'll find they're all skewing older these days. There's a reason radio stations carrying local NFL teams are trending towards playing classic rock; there's a reason baseball parks are focusing more on kid-friendly activities that have almost nothing to do with the game on the field. Times and people change. Sports either keep up with the change or die off.
                "I didn't hear a single comment about airboxes, "carbashians", or how terrible the car looked. I did see dozens and dozens of little kids in awe of the speed and how cool the cars looked. We should learn from our children."
                --Danny Noonan

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                • #9
                  http://aarn.com/areaautoracingnews/aarnfrontpage.html

                  How about a little good news? Grandview and Selinsgrove did pretty well this week.
                  "George Bignotti's Sinmast Wildcat (Designed by Bob Riley); delicately built, carefully prepared and boldly driven by Gordon Johncock." -- Keith Jackson

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                  • #10
                    I don't buy this article or half the crap I see on Yahoo, unles it deals with my fantasy football league.

                    Racing is flourishing, you just have too look at where. SCCA and NASA, even the local street stock racing at the local short track has had their highest numbers over the last years, and it incorporates younger drivers. The Time Trial and HPDE stuff is huge here in teh Midwest. All of the kids can take their cars from Japan and go nuts.

                    I see alot of younger people now at the track than I did 7-8 years ago. Even Sprintcar racing in Indiana, has seen alot of younger kids out there this year.

                    I agree with the above that kids today have video games and can race F1 on Wii, but that will either lead them to get into racing, or atleast follow it.

                    I will think there is a big issue, when area's such as karting and other more grass roots areas start seeing lowing worriesome numbers.

                    When the grass roots stuff starts to really suffer, then the top will as well.

                    Racing has to be releveant, that's why ALMS is on its Enviro-kick and the NHRA is looking at other fuel divisions.

                    I think NASCAR will be the last to follow in the movement and might hurt them in the end.

                    I think the bigger issue is the wussifing (wimpiness) of the kids here in the States. I agree with Adam Carolla if we don't watch out (In 50 years we'll all be chicks, man).

                    The wussiness of kids and the y-generation (not everyone) where everybody gets a participation trophey crap, is what will ruin all competition from stick and ball, and all sports.

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                    • #11
                      It seems to me that at least road racing is becoming more of a participant than a spectator sport. There is a growth of track "country clubs" where well-heeled people can have track days in their cars or motorcyles. Some of the high-end manufacturers now produce limited edition track only cars. It would be interesting to see if IICS can have some sort of tie-in with the country clubs.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MPalmer View Post
                        I don't buy this article or half the crap I see on Yahoo, unles it deals with my fantasy football league.

                        Racing is flourishing, you just have too look at where. SCCA and NASA, even the local street stock racing at the local short track has had their highest numbers over the last years, and it incorporates younger drivers.
                        Actually, as it pertains to SCCA, you are a little off base. The SCCA Club is struggling with various class car counts and participation and is trying to figure out how to attract the younger drivers as most have zero clue what a 1960 something HP Bugeye is. Some classes of SCCA Club will be on National road racing probation in 2011 as they did not meet the participation requirement numbers in 2010. Classes such as STO, T1, GT3 and some others. Even the bench mark SM class has seen a noticeable drop in entrants. There is great debate/discussion within the SCCA community about the need to resolve this issue and how.

                        Of course yesterday during a competitors meeting at the Run-offs, the CRB suggested adding additional classes. That seems to be the SCCA's answer to any issue...let's add more confusion(classes). The reality is the SCCA needs entry fees to survive. So if a particular class or two dwindle, they create new classes to offset the potential loss of entry fee revenues. Instead of doing due diligence and seeing why a class struggles.

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                        • #13
                          The argument that kids are "wussyfied" when the hottest growing sports of the last 10 years are paintball, cage fighting, and skateboarding is foolhardy.

                          Its been said a hundred times before that boxing and horse racing were two ends of the big three back in the 20s and 30s and haven't been for generations now. Auto racing could have a similar slide from grace if it doesn't find ways to stay relevant. Right now, there's little relevant about the Indy 500 or even NASCAR to someone living in New York or LA (you know, where people live rather than cows). That's a problem. You can say similar things about a number of pop culture icons - look at the sales of Harleys.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ToddBenne View Post
                            Actually, as it pertains to SCCA, you are a little off base. The SCCA Club is struggling with various class car counts and participation and is trying to figure out how to attract the younger drivers as most have zero clue what a 1960 something HP Bugeye is. Some classes of SCCA Club will be on National road racing probation in 2011 as they did not meet the participation requirement numbers in 2010. Classes such as STO, T1, GT3 and some others. Even the bench mark SM class has seen a noticeable drop in entrants. There is great debate/discussion within the SCCA community about the need to resolve this issue and how.

                            Of course yesterday during a competitors meeting at the Run-offs, the CRB suggested adding additional classes. That seems to be the SCCA's answer to any issue...let's add more confusion(classes). The reality is the SCCA needs entry fees to survive. So if a particular class or two dwindle, they create new classes to offset the potential loss of entry fee revenues. Instead of doing due diligence and seeing why a class struggles.
                            What classes are the adding? Didn't think there was much more room to add?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by VirtualBalboa View Post
                              The argument that kids are "wussyfied" when the hottest growing sports of the last 10 years are paintball, cage fighting, and skateboarding is foolhardy.

                              Its been said a hundred times before that boxing and horse racing were two ends of the big three back in the 20s and 30s and haven't been for generations now. Auto racing could have a similar slide from grace if it doesn't find ways to stay relevant. Right now, there's little relevant about the Indy 500 or even NASCAR to someone living in New York or LA (you know, where people live rather than cows). That's a problem. You can say similar things about a number of pop culture icons - look at the sales of Harleys.
                              Ummm....that is what I was talking about.

                              I am not talking about the last 10 years, and I do agree with you; especially with Cage Fighting surpasing Boxing, (Boxing did it too itself) I am talking not about generation "Y", but the generation behind them. Hey I hope I am wrong on that and it is my opinion, we shall see.

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