Kicked off this past weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,
Speedway Motorsports Inc. recently announced they'll be hosting fan forums with 'top' NASCAR drivers and personalities as a part of each of their 13 race weekend festivities at SMI's 7 tracks across the country, including Atlanta, Bristol, Infineon, Lowe's, New Hampshire, Texas, and Las Vegas.
PRN Radio personalities will emcee the Q&A events held at the SPEED stage at each track. Las Vegas' 'allstar' line up included hometown hero and eventual race winner, Kyle Busch, four time Cup Champion Jeff Gordon, and legendary team owner, Richard Childress.
These events promise access not given to most fans to the biggest stars of the sport, and if their Vegas line-up is any indication, that's exactly what they'll deliver.
I applaud SMI for thinking of the fans who don't have $100+ to spend on pit passes,(Neon Garage Passes for Vegas are $250 a piece), or who aren't able to make it to the limited number of autograph sessions throughout the weekend, but I'm not sure that this is the solution. Great in theory, but having seen how loud and crowded the Speed Stage can be during Trackside and other Speed shows throughout the weekend, I can't imagine it wouldn't be the same at these events, especially if they continue to have top drivers like Busch and Gordon, whose accessibility is even less than lesser known drivers.
I might be completely wrong though, and this might just be what NASCAR needs to to keep ticket sales up in these economic hard times. I guess we'll just have to take it as it comes. I know I can't wait to see who they manage to schedule for Atlanta!