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The Brickyard 400 Is Losing Its Mystique 82

Posted on July 29, 2011 by A.J. Foss

Attendance and TV ratings have declined in recent years for the Brickyard 400.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its annual trip to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for the 18th running of the Brickyard 400.

While the event is still regarded as the second biggest race of the NASCAR season behind the Daytona 500, it seems that the popularity of the race among fans has reached an all-time low.

Back in May, the Associated Press reported that ticket sales for the race were down from last year’s event where only 140,000 people, almost a 50% decrease from 2007 where an estimated 270,000 fans showed up for that year’s race.

There was also a 13 percent decrease in the television ratings from the 2009 Brickyard 400 to last year’s race, which was both telecasted on ESPN.

So, what is the reason for this precipitous decline in the interest of the Brickyard 400?

Some blame the economic downturn and high gas prices, while others have suggested Indianapolis has to fight with tracks such as Chicago, Kentucky, and Kansas to get Midwestern fans to come out to the track.

But the most likely reason for NASCAR’s problem at the Brickyard is what happened in the 2008 race.

That was the first time that NASCAR raced the Car of Tomorrow at the speedway and the results proved to be disastrous. The combination of the new car and the abrasive pavement caused the rear tires to explode after several laps of racing. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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