Bubba Wallace responds: There’s a lot of ‘boring stuff’ at ISC tracks
International Speedway Corporation held a conference call announcing their financial report. ISC saw a 10% decline in attendance for 6 races in March through May.
“Weather was an important part, but all in all, the attendance was a little bit softer than expected,” ISC president John Saunders said. “We still have an issue with star power and hopefully this stable of young drivers coming along will start to win and build their brands.”
ISC Tracks (March-June): Michigan International Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Auto Club Speedway, Kansas Speedway, ISM Raceway, Martinsville Speedway
This is a similar statement from former ISC financial reports. This isn’t the first time they’ve noted retiring veterans as a reason for the attendance decline. It is the first time I’ve heard them put the pressure on the young drivers.
I’m sure it’s a partially true statement. The sport has lost the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Danica Patrick and Matt Kenseth is just recent years.
But, the young drivers aren’t too happy to have the pressure or the fault placed onto them. And rightly so. Some of the drivers are pushing it back on ISC to fix things.
Bob Pockrass: Do you feel pressure to win just for the sake of the sport?
“Not really,” Ryan Blaney responds.
“Honestly, this whole young guys need to win now thing is getting old. We’re trying. We’re trying our hardest. It’s not like I go out there and I’m happy for 5th.”
“Any other guy under the age of 25, I’ll just say is the same way. It’s not a competition between young guys and old guys. It’s a competition between 39 other cars.”
“No matter what your age is, your experience level, everyone’s trying to accomplish the same goal. It would be healthy for the sport if we see just more variation of winners in general.”
2018 Winners: Kyle Busch (5), Kevin Harvick (5), Martin Truex Jr (3), Clint Bowyer (2), Joey Logano (1), Austin Dillon (1)
“Come on now. You can’t just put that on the young guys not winning. That’s a lot of other people that aren’t winning. Those guys who are winning this year, deserve it. They’ve done a good job with their teams and they’re driving great right now.”
“I don’t really feel pressure. We just try to get better every week and just try to find ways to get in victory lane.”
“I don’t go out there and root for any other driver to beat a veteran. I don’t care about anything else. I’m just worried about myself and my team.”
“If there were more than 6 winners… There’s no rules packages that make that happen. It’s not the rules package that we’re in. It’s just these teams have found something that works really well for them.”
“I just think more variation of winners would be good. We just gotta work harder to be able to run with them guys.”
“There’s a lot of boring stuff that we still have. That has been the same thing at ISC tracks. That we could update to get more fans out,” Bubba Wallace places the ball back in ISC’s court to grow the sport.
“It kinda goes hand in hand. From people that are behind the wheel to the people that are hosting us. It’s a group effort.”
“There’s a lot of guys that aren’t young, hat have the gray hair but haven’t won yet. So, it’s not all on us.”
“Yeah, NASCAR’s promoting a young generation, a youth movement and all that. It’s hard for new fans to come in and look at that … I’m looking at myself from a fans point of view. This guys 22nd in the points, hasn’t won anything, finished 2nd in the Daytona 500, is getting promoted the hell out of and hasn’t done anything.”
“That’s what you see. It’s like a bandwagon sports fan. My car handles way worse than Harvick or Kyle’s car at 200 mile an hour and we’re holding onto it.”
“There’s a difference in what the sport needs to illustrate to the fans. The budgets that make all this stuff happen and make you a winner.”
“Just because the cars look the same, they go through tech and everything … They’re damn sure not the same. My car’s not the same as any #18 or #4 car. It would be interesting to see us swap seats. I’m sure all the young guys would love to have their rides and dominate the races.”
“We have to work up to it. Those guys have been in the sport for 15-20 years. Hell, I got 14 more years of going until I can get to that point. I’m set, if it’s that trend.”