Rearview Mirror: 2017 Daytona 500

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A great car but a disappointing result for the NO. 88. Onto Atlanta!

We’re going to be trying something a little different this year. The ‘Rearview Mirror’ is essentially our post race discussion thread that will lead us into our next ‘Race Chat Room’. The ‘Rearview Mirror’ will be posted the morning following every Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Pretty simple, right? We’ll continue to do what we do best, posting NASCAR news we find around the web and discussing those topics.

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47 thoughts on “Rearview Mirror: 2017 Daytona 500

  1. NASCAR tracks see revenue drop again.
    From Jayski –
    The tracks that host the bulk of NASCAR races saw their admissions revenues drop 7.4 percent in 2016, marking the ninth consecutive year of declines and the largest drop in the past four.

    International Speedway Corp. (12 tracks), Speedway Motorsports Inc. (eight) and Dover Motorsports (one) reported a combined admissions revenue of $221.1 million, down from $238.8 million in 2015. The drop ended a trend of admissions revenue that appeared to have stabilized. After dropping 6.5 percent in 2013, the tracks experienced a decline of 2.5 percent in 2014 and 0.2 percent in 2015.

    Mitigating the admissions revenue drop is NASCAR’s television deal: Combined operating income generated for the publicly operated tracks by the TV deal was approximately $421 million, up 3.3 percent from 2015.

    SMI, which said eight of its 13 Cup weekends were affected by rain, saw a 10 percent drop in its admissions revenue. That revenue was down 14 percent for the last three months of 2016, which included the postponed race at Charlotte and a rain-delayed event at Texas.

    ISC, owned by the NASCAR-operating France family, saw a 5 percent drop in admissions revenue but a nearly 8 percent drop after its February events at Daytona, which got a boost from the new grandstands and increased ticket prices that correlated with the new seating and sightlines. Dover saw a 12.9 percent drop for its two race weekends. Pocono and Indianapolis Motor Speedway are privately held and do not release financials.

    “The impact of Jeff Gordon’s retirement was underestimated, which was compounded with Tony Stewart and Dale [Earnhardt] Jr. missing races throughout the season,” ISC president John Saunders, in recapping 2016, told investors last month.

    “The lack of activation from the outgoing series sponsor [Sprint] and the distraction of the presidential election season further exacerbated the situation.”

    The tracks and NASCAR hope the new race format — races are divided into three lap-grouped segments — as well as incoming series sponsor Monster Energy will help energize and expand the fan base, which, according to market research firm Nielsen Scarborough, has an average age of 48. The tracks will focus on youth pricing — kids under 12 with a paying adult will be admitted free to non-Cup events this season (they were for several, but not all, in 2016) — and at least three tracks (Watkins Glen, Pocono and Martinsville) have announced race weekends during which the Cup drivers will qualify and race on the same day.

    The Daytona 500, held at ISC’s Daytona International Speedway, was sold out Sunday for the second consecutive year in its new 101,500-seat configuration.

    “We’re in this for the long haul, and I think the excitement of the racing we saw in Daytona, the optimism of the NASCAR industry … bode well for the season,” SMI president Marcus Smith said while announcing its 2016 earnings. “I’m pleased with that. I don’t think we’re going to have a huge rush of people as a result [of the new format] yet, but I think it will be something that will build.”

    The admissions revenue does include the tracks’ non-NASCAR racing events. SMI did not include the college football game between Virginia Tech and Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway in September in its admissions figures. The game, SMI reported, turned a pre-tax profit of a little more than $5 million.

    The $221.1 million in admissions revenue is down 52.7 percent from the companies’ all-time high of $467.4 million in 2007.

    “After the financial crisis, there’s no question the spendable income that people had just wasn’t available to do things like this two or three times a year,” said NASCAR team owner Roger Penske, whose company operated and constructed speedways in the 1990s. “It’s not just in our sport. … There’s never been more competition on the racetrack.”

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    • I still say NASCAR Racing is headed to PPV…a new PPV not like we know it today. I see a time in the future where you can watch a race on your smart phone viewer at home via WiFi. There will be multiple packages priced accordingly, with or with out practice sessions, with or with out Qualifying and with or without Commercial. Also probably a annual subscription version…..You will see this as a sports option from Cable TV vendors, for all national sports, NASCAR just one of several. This new PPV venue would give the fan a perspective as if they are at the track…..
      What will also drive this is the fact that staying at home an yet getting a ” at track ” experience will become very attractive to the fan base, as it is also safer……… just saying

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    • And I’ll predict that revenue will continue to drop throughout 2017 as well.
      And if King Brian delves into more politics again it will drop even faster.

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  2. Watkins Glen joins Martinsville and Pocono in featuring Cup qualifying and race on the same day.
    From Jayski –
    This year’s event will feature an enhanced Sunday lineup featuring Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at 12:35pm/et, just hours prior to the start of the 90-lap race which goes green at 3:00pm/et.

    “NASCAR continues to work closely with tracks to create unique opportunities to interact with the stars of the sport,” said Jim Cassidy, senior Vice President, Racing Operations for NASCAR. “A number of our track partners have certainly embraced the concept, and fans attending those NASCAR race weekends will get to experience the enhanced model.”

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  3. Well, I don’t think that this is a good sign.

    Axalta to partner with Byron, JR Motorsports

    By HendrickMotorsports.com

    CONCORD, N.C. – Longtime Hendrick Motorsports partner Axalta Coating Systems announced Wednesday morning that it is teaming up with the newest Hendrick Motorsports signee.

    Axalta will serve as a primary partner in 15 NASCAR XFINITY Series races in each of the next two seasons for William Byron, who is currently racing full-time in the XFINITY Series for Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports.

    Byron will debut the No. 9 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro at Phoenix Raceway on March 18.

    “Even as a young fan, I can remember Axalta being involved in our sport,” said Byron, who made his XFINITY debut Saturday at Daytona International Speedway with a ninth-place finish. “Now to be part of their program as a driver means a lot. Charlie Shaver [Axalta Chairman and CEO] believes in our team at JR Motorsports and at Hendrick Motorsports, and that support matters so much to me. Having Axalta with us is going to be a huge part of our program. I can’t wait to get the No. 9 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro to Victory Lane this season.”

    Axalta’s 25-year sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports dates back to 1992 and includes a close business-to-business relationship with Hendrick Automotive Group, the largest privately held dealership organization in the United States. As part of the expanded JR Motorsports partnership, Hendrick Automotive Group will increase its relationships with Axalta-affiliated vendors to support paint and collision work.

    “Throughout the course of our relationship with racing, we have looked for ways not only to be a sponsor but also to be a partner of our drivers,” Shaver said. “We are very excited to work with William, a younger driver who has already earned terrific credentials with seven wins as a rookie. William epitomizes the ways in which new drivers can tap into the innovation and technology that are cornerstones of both motor sports and our coatings business. We’re looking forward to this next step in our continued relationship with JR Motorsports.”

    With the broadened JRM program, Axalta will have a significant presence across NASCAR’s top two levels. In the NASCAR Cup Series, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports in 13 races this season.

    Last weekend, Axalta unveiled the Axalta Center Injector at Daytona International Speedway with the help of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers, and is nearing completion of its 45,000-square-foot Customer Experience Center located on the Hendrick Motorsports campus in Concord, North Carolina. The Axalta Customer Experience Center will provide the latest customer training resources for refinish technicians.

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      • They are making a big investment in Byron if they are going to sponsor him for that many races this season and the next. They aren’t going to make an investment that huge lightly. Why did Axalta’s relationship with Jeff Gordon end? Because Jeff retired. This move leads me to believe that Axalta is going with the assumption that Dale is done at the end of the year and that they need to link themselves with a new driver that will carry their brand into the future. That’s why I see it as a negative.

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    • According to the article they are staying on the 88 for 13 races this season and it sounds as though they are planning long term with Byron. HMS has to
      be sensitive to their relationship with Axalta beyond racing. Maybe Jeff retiring and Junior being off last year along with his age set them to thinking. If Chase has a full dance card and they want to look for a long term relationship there isn’t anyone in the HMS stable that fits.
      Just an opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This will be the last of the TV numbers posted today. Final Daytona 500 ratings should be coming in by tomorrow, latest Friday. I gotta say, it is great to see ratings up pretty much across the board but the next couple of weeks will be telling. The demographic that will be fun to keep an eye on will be ages 18-34 range, that is the demo that NASCAR and Monster will be focusing on as they are the key to this sports future relevance.

    FOX Sports PR‏ @FOXSportsPR 5h5 hours ago
    More
    DAYTONA: NASCAR RaceDay-XFINITY, @FS1 prerace show for XFINITY Series, up 8% in avg viewership Saturday over 2016 (1,175,000 vs. 1,090,000)

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  5. The narrative that NASCAR is dying? Yeah it isn’t as strong as it used to be but it still puts up large numbers. Here are the Xfinity numbers from Saturday that saw an increase –

    FOX Sports PR‏ @FOXSportsPR 5h5 hours ago
    More
    DAYTONA: Saturday’s #NASCAR XFINITY race on @FS1 was up 6% in avg viewership (2,253,000 vs. 2,120,000) & 8% among A18-49 over 2016

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  6. More TV numbers you ask? I got em –

    FOX Sports PR‏ @FOXSportsPR 5h5 hours ago
    More
    DAYTONA: NASCAR RaceDay on @FS1 on Sun up 30% in avg. vwrship & 42% in A18-49 over 2016. Most-watched FS1 NRD ever w/out a race right after

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    • This streaming the future of NASCAR and all National Sports… streaming is the venue that makes this happen… It wont take long for the Cable Industry to make this happen… With In five years IMO..

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      • YouTube just announced their own streaming service for only $35 a month. You get FS1 and FS2 and NBCSN, so it’s perfect for NASCAR fans that really only need those three channels. 🙂 But yes, you’re right in that streaming is the future, especially for millennials like myself who don’t want to have to pay for cable for a zillion channels we don’t watch.

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  7. More positive TV and streaming numbers coming in!

    FOX Sports PR‏ @FOXSportsPR 2h2 hours ago
    More
    NASCAR Race Hub on @FS1 during Speedweeks up 15% avg viewership over 2016 w/214K viewers; most-watched during Speedweeks since 2013 on SPEED

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  8. Martinsville to announce a two day schedule for the Fall race. Highlights include Cup practice taking place right after the Truck race, while qualifying will take place on race day. Kinda neat! Pocono is doing the same thing.

    NASCAR on NBC‏
    @NASCARonNBC

    Martinsville latest track to announce Cup qualifying and race on same day. Will have it for fall event.

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    • Which means the teams have to qualify in their Race Set up… no more Qualifying configurations….. Tape on the Grill and that’s about it for Qualifying…. that’s a big deal …..

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  9. QUESTION: WHAT IF I COULD WATCH PRACTICE/QUALIFYING/RACE ON ONE OF THESE NEW INDIVIDUAL SMARTPHONE VIEWERS IN 3D WITH NO COMMERCIALS… (ALMOST AS IF I WERE AT THE TRACK….

    SEEMS TO ME THAT’S WHERE THIS SPORT IS GOING….. IT’S NOT THAT FAR AWAY IMO ( ACCEPT FOR THE NO COMMERCIAL PART… THIS WOULD PROMOTE ” VIRTUAL TICKETS” FOR EACH EVENT (I.E. PAY= PER-VIEW)… THE FUTURE TRACK GRANDSTANDS WILL BE FOR INVITED GUEST ONLY ……..JUST SAYING

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    • They have reported that more millennials are likely to be still living at home with their parents. I guess they figure we are just good for paying the cable bill !!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. So overall the TV ratings are flat with last years Daytona 500, but overall viewership went up, so that’s good. The biggest takeaway for me is that there was a 10% increase (4 year high) of the key demographic for ages 18-34 (the millennial demo).

    I only want our sport to succeed. That’s all.

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  11. From Sports Media Watch – Sunday’s race also delivered the third-smallest Daytona 500 audience since 1995 (11.4M), ranking ahead of only last year and 2014 (9.3M) over that span. Figures do not the 40,000 who streamed coverage on Fox Sports GO, a record for NASCAR on the streaming platform, or the Spanish-language audience on Fox Deportes (n/a). Even with those numbers added to the mix, the audience of 12.0 million still ranks as the third-smallest in 22 years.

    The Daytona 500 has now failed to earn at least a 7.0 rating or 12 million viewers in three of the past four years. During NASCAR’s 2000s heyday, the race topped a 10.0 rating and 17 million viewers in seven of eight years from 2001-08.

    Though ratings were flat overall, Sunday’s race did post growth in key demographics — including an uptick among adults 18-49 (from 2.7 to 2.8). Ratings hit a four-year high among adults 18-34, rising 13% from 1.6 to 1.8. In addition, the five percent bump in viewership ended a streak of 12 straight Cup Series races to decline year-over-year.

    http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2017/02/daytona-500-ratings-low-fox-viewership-increase/

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  12. More In-Depth Daytona 500 TV Ratings information –
    Adam Stern
    ‏Verified account @A_S12
    @FOXTV earned a fast national rating of 6.6 for yesterday’s #Daytona500, flat from the same number last year. Race was up in below demos

    Like

  13. Alex Bowman will be driving with Hendrick power in this weekends Atlanta truck series race Alex Bowman

    ‏@AlexBRacing 4m
    4 minutes ago
    Pumped up to be in a @NASCAR_Trucks with @GMSRacingLLC this weekend. Always good to have @TeamHendrick horsepower under the hood!

    Liked by 1 person

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