The 20th running of NASCAR's Brickyard 400 is this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but activities start today at IMS, as race organizers have added attractions to put more fans in the stands.
The popularity of NASCAR is still there when you consider 100-thousand fans, on average, attend the races each week. The TV audience is about 7=million per race, again, on average, which is more than other sporting events.
Still, attendance at not just the Brickyard 400, but other NASCAR races, has seen better days. The economy had a lot to do with the decline, but there are other factors in play, as well.
"It's not just looking at things from pricing standpoint," said NASCAR's Steve Phelps. "As the economy comes back, it's really competing with stick and ball sports and other entertainment. So we have to make sure what we do is commensurate with what they'll get at an NFL or NBA game."
So you're going to see a lot more in the way of technology at the track, so while fans are at the race, they can listen to built-in radio scanners, driver communications, and watch in-car cameras right from their seats.
And the cars are different too this year. They'll be more like the ones you see on the road.
Grand-Am practice and qualifying take place today at the Speedway to kick off "Super Weekend."
Like we've seen for the Indy 500, there are a lot of events leading up to the Brickyard to get fans excited and to bring them to the track.
A 4-day pass costs $80
Children 12 and under are admitted free