Kyle Petty Slams NASCAR As He Reveals 2 Major “Weak Spots” Keeping the Fans Away

Published 09/25/2023, 1:31 PM EDT

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What is NASCAR without its fans? Who would the racers race for? After winning a 300-lap-long race, who would the winner appeal to for the race-winning cheer? Indeed, fans are a very important aspect of the sport of NASCAR. There is a reason why NASCAR officials often tend to ignore cautions during races in order to give the audience as many non-interfered green lap runs as possible. After all, NASCAR is an entertainment business.

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Racing fans expect the 2024 season to bring an array of changes to the schedule of NASCAR. Firstly, dirt racing will not return to Bristol Motor Speedway. Secondly, rumors run along the alleys of NASCAR that they will be introducing more ‘plate’ tracks and road courses in their schedule. And this has gotten the entire fandom divided. On that note, NASCAR veteran Kyle Petty revealed why NASCAR is losing viewership.

Kyle Petty reveals how NASCAR lags behind

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According to a 2013 study by Nielsen Ratings, “…Therein lies a huge reason for many of the problems the sport struggles with today in terms of faltering attendance and the flagging attention span of the newest adult generation—the 18 to 34-year-old demographic that registered a 25 percent drop in viewership of televised races last year”

In a recent episode of The Kenny Wallace Show, the 63-year-old NBC analyst shared his opinions on the current position of NASCAR as far as viewership and fan acceptance are concerned. With only three road courses namely, Bristol, Martinsville, and Richmond, NASCAR is terribly short of road courses.

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Kyle Petty admitted, “There’s still some weak spots in it. They don’t put on great short-track races. That’s not a good thing for this car. The speedway stuff is always gonna be whatever it is as long as we run those.”

However, since the road course in Chicago earlier this year, the street racing trend is coming back to NASCAR.

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“The engines and trying to restrict them, that’s always going to be what it is. But then, the intermediate tracks, some of it is in pretty good place,” added Petty. However, the fans themselves did not seem to want more road courses.

Fans shared contrary views after a NASCAR insider shed light on a rumor

When Couch Racer tweeted “Rumors of multiple road courses and “plate” tracks in the playoffs next year. How many “wild card” races should be in included in the playoffs?”, the entire fandom started pouring in comments against the decision to add road courses. Kyle Petty would perhaps be dismayed.

Someone said, “So continue with short track races in the playoffs when we all know how bad short track racing has been with the next Gen car? TV ratings down. NASCAR is down because the car is bad at short tracks and road courses. Best racing is on the plate tracks.”

While another user expressed their disgust saying, “I would really like to know why NASCAR thinks the fanbase constantly wants more and more road course racing. I’m old enough to remember when Sonoma and Watkins Glen were it, and that was enough.”

A NASCAR fan wrote, “Atlanta is fine. But we don’t need another road course in there.”

Another fan concurred, saying, “Maybe Atlanta could be added, but no more road courses! I already didn’t like them and the next gen car doesn’t make it any better”

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“🤮 more road courses in playoffs I can see the future can’t pass and all running the same speed ….maybe we add plows to the front of these cars so u can clear a path 🤣,” joked an enthusiast.

Short tracks give rise to pack racing and hence, overtaking becomes extremely difficult. On that note, someone said, “Would take a superspeedway over short tracks…at least passing is an option”

While another said, “It is my opinion that NASCAR is trying to destroy its fan bases interest in its product these changes are doing nothing for the sport”

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What do you make of the interesting notion that revolves around this topic? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Soumyadeep Saha

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Soumyadeep is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. He has done his Master's in English Literature and is a semi-professional bodybuilder. He has, in recent years, channelized his love and commitment for motorsports into a building career path.
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Edited by:

Amal Joyce

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