Who has the hearts of the most motosports fans in the state of Texas — F1 or NASCAR? I guess we’ll find out come November 2014. The F1 race at the Circuit of the Americas road course in Austin has been scheduled for the same weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Texas Motor Speedway in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But TMS President Eddie Gosssage doesn’t seem worried about attendance issues. In fact, judging by what he said, he seems to think the people at COTA and F1 should be the ones who are worrying.
“It’s a foolish move by Formula One,” Gossage said. “Our two NASCAR Sprint Cup races draw the two largest crowds in Texas sports. It isn’t the smartest move to try to compete with that. I’m sure regardless of what they say publicly, the folks at the Austin track are pulling their hair out over this one. They don’t have any say over their date.”
Should F1 be worried about attendance next November in the Lone Star State? Maybe, maybe not. Should NASCAR be worried? I’m not sure.
NASCAR popularity has declined in recent years in the US, but it is still the No. 1 show in this country when it comes to Motorsports. F1 — not so much. Yes, F1 popularity is, perhaps, on the rise here, but I don’t think the declining NASCAR fan base and the growing F1 United States fan base have even met in the middle, let alone the F1 fan base surpass that of NASCAR in this country.
Yes, attendance has been down for NASCAR events at Texas Motor Speedway in recent years, but will an F1 race a couple hundred miles away on the same weekend make things worse? It’s possible that there may be a slight impact, but I’m not so sure that it would be that huge of one. Meanwhile, would a NASCAR event that distance away on the same weekend affect the F1 race attendance at Circuit of the Americas? Maybe not as much as some people seem to think, if at all.
Yes, there are a lot of motorsports fans who follow multiple forms of motorsports, including F1. But from my experience, a lot of NASCAR fans wear blinders. While fans of other forms of motorsports seem to enjoy racing in various forms, a lot of NASCAR fans seem to care about NASCAR and NASCAR only. And many others care only about stock car racings.
So does it really matter that these two races in November will be in the same state on the same weekend? The more I think about it, the more I’m thinking, “No.” Because I’m wondering if there is even much of an overlap between the two fan bases.
What do you think? If you plan on attending one of the two races, which will it be? If you could go to either, which one would you choose? Let us know on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCAR Examiner and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner.