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econd Fiddle: Around the Busch and Craftsman Truck Series · Amy Henderson · Thursday May 18, 2006
Here’s what I don’t get (along with USAirways charging me $105 NOT to be on a flight because I changed to an earlier flight, which I also had to pay for); why don’t Busch and Craftsman Truck Series races sell out on a regular basis at tracks where Nextel Cup races DO pack every seat?
Take the Busch race at Darlington this past weekend. The Cup race was a sold-out affair, but the Busch race was not. Now, 74,000 fans came to see the Cup race. Did most of them arrive on Saturday? It was a beautiful night – a short-sleeved shirt and a light jacket were adequate clothing – and the race was packed with Cup stars (which I still contend is not a good thing but many fans like and come just for that reason). The race actually turned out to be more eventful than the Cup race. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. So…where were the fans?
I’ve noticed the same thing closer to home, too. New Hampshire International Speedway routinely sells out two Cup races with a waiting list for either race numbering in the five digits. The July Busch race usually draws about 50,000 to the 91,000-seat track…the CTS even fewer. And they add great attractions on those days, like modified and Busch North, er, East, races all on that one ticket, which runs less than half the average Cup ticket price. The numbers are good, but it seems to me they should be higher.
Now, you might not travel hundreds of miles for one or two days of racing if you didn’t also have Cup tickets, that is true; but what about local fans within, say a couple of hours, who are among those not able to procure Cup tickets? They’d get to see Cup practice and/or qualifying as an added bonus to getting to see what will more often than not be the best race of the weekend. It just doesn’t add up. As a recap: for half the price and twice the availability of a Nextel Cup ticket, you can get: Cup practice or time trials, some Cup Stars in the Busch or CTS race in question, (especially if it’s a companion event), and usually a great "undercard" race, one that is often the best of the weekend. Yet, there are empty seats to be seen every time.
Some would say that the black hole is the universe’s greatest mystery. I’m having none of that.
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While ticket prices are lower for Busch and trucks all the associated expenses—food, gas, parking, babysitting, missed work for a Friday event, etc. remain the same. And when you add them up, the ticket is the least of it. $$$$$$$
I’m not sure why the Busch races at the Cup tracks don’t sell out, but I’m pretty sure that the Busch race in Indy sells out and it’s not even at the same track. As much as I like going to IMS for the Brickyard, I love going to IRP for the Busch and Truck races. You can see everything that goes on during the race, not just what happens in the one spot on the track that you can see.
Support races no longer sell well because the expense is such that fans have to budget for just one race, and it’s the Winston Cup race.
Beats me Amy. I go to the Busch race whenever I can. Traffic is less and the racing is just as good if not better. The Trucks in Charlotte unfortunately usually fall when I have something else I have to do.
Recent articles from Amy Henderson:
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Announces Partnership with Cessna, Textron
Fans To Decide Format of Sprint Unlimited at Daytona
UNOH and Kentucky Speedway Extend Sponsorship Agreement
Earnhardt Out For Charlotte and Kansas After Talldega Concussion
Piquet, Jr. Wins K&N East Opener
Want to know more about Amy or see an archive of all of her articles? Check out her bio page for more information.