This is the first installment of ‘Ask the Crew Chief.’ This question was submitted by Steve Vlasblom, “NASCAR keeps saying attendance is down at races and on T.V. Will their numbers only get worse with the summer gas price highs that are coming each day?”
Everywhere across the United States, the gas prices are increasing rapidly. By the end of the summer, I wouldn’t be surprised if the gas prices reach over five dollars a gallon. Due to this, people who used to plan on going to three, four, or even five races, now have to choose which race or two they want to go to most. They also have to decide whether they want to put dinner on the table or spend a day of enjoyment at the track because of the excessive cost of gas of going there and coming home. People don’t realize that going to a race is a luxury, and some people really can’t afford luxuries right now.
There's a flip-side to this coin. I do, however, think that the audience watching the race in the comfort of their own homes will stay the same or may even increase because watching it on the television is free (except for the cable bill, which most people would pay anyway).
So, now you know my opinion on the rising gas prices and its impact on NASCAR. Thank you, Steve, for submitting this interesting question!