SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Six hours and two overtimes later, it sure was a wild finish to the Brickyard 400. Unfortunately, not many people were in the stands to see it.
Attendance at the 24th annual Brickyard 400 was already low with whole stretches of empty grandstands and some fans saying they’ve never seen the Coke Lot so empty. But matters were made even worse after a storm hit the area just a few laps into the race.
Fans were forced to evacuate the grandstands due to lightning and heavy rain. Considering the fact that it takes crews approximately two hours to dry the track, some fans used that as an opportunity to leave IMS completely.
Fans at IMS say they’re not surprised the stands were so bare because casual attendees haven’t showed up for years, regardless of the weather.
“I just think it’s a generational thing. I think their generation is more like, ‘Hey, let’s come out and watch racing.’ My generation is more like, ‘Let’s go to concerts’ and things of that nature,” said Joe Benes.
Both IMS and NASCAR officials hope finding ways to inject excitement into the race will get more bodies in seats.
Next year’s race is set to take place on September 9, instead of July. IMPS President Doug Boles said at a recent press conference that the main reason people do not come out to the race is the heat, so he hopes more fans will take advantage of the cooler weather.