So major league oval racing, both Indy and NASCAR, has seen a downturn in the last couple of years. And everyone's blaming the promotion, on track action, etc., but I think it's much simpler than that: going to a big time speedway is a miserable experience, the racing itself excepted.
Over my vacation a few weeks back I had the opportunity to go Gillette Stadium for a Revolution game, followed by NHMS for both Nationwide and Cup a week later. The difference is night and day. One is comfortable, clean, had decent bathrooms, and you didn't have a heart attack trying to get to the top. The other you bake on aluminum, the porta-potties are actually cleaner than the proper bathrooms, your dad almost collapses trying to get to his seat, and you dodge water, beer, and any other unknown fluid raining under the stands trying to get out. Guess which is which?
It's gotten embarrassing to take my girlfriend to the track. I'm okay with things because I'm used to it, and it doesn't kill me. But she's been insight into what a newbie race fan would think, and now I don't see why anyone would think that this type of stuff is acceptable or that they would want to come back for another race.
I understand that it's tough to financially justify bringing a Gillette-type experience to a speedway for only 2 shows a year (when the Stadium has over 30), but something needs to improve there. Some plumbers? People to clean the bathroom? Better hygiene standards at concessions? Some way of preventing beer showers leaving the track? Something? I don't think it's exclusive to NHMS either, but maybe people have had better experiences at other tracks. But new fans are going to go to a major league race expecting major league facilities...and right now, they just aren't, both in terms of construction and operation.