International Speedway Corporation has a corporate policy of not releasing exact figures, but the good weather and perhaps the renewed notoriety the Glen received from the exciting finish in last year's race -- or other factors entirely -- brought out huge crowds.
This seemed obvious just looking around the track over the weekend.
On Saturday, there seemed to be many more fans in the stands for the Nationwide race. On Sunday, the Ninety, Seneca, and Argetsinger grandstands looked 90-95 percent full by eye. Walking down the midway before Sunday's race was tough going with the crowds; campers were pitched all the way to the fences both days.
The weather and NASCAR's popularity certainly brought people out, but the state-wide promotion by WGI President Michael Printup may have also played a key role. In the four weeks leading up to the race, Mr. Printup traveled 3,500 miles to talk to TV and radio stations, print and online media, and others. The burn-out in Rochester event, which happened to be performed by Kyle Busch who went on to win this year's race, also brought attention to the coming race.
Cheez-It has committed to a multi-year contract sponsoring the race, so fans can look forward to seeing the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen in 2014.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. is the author of several books and is currently working on a new book about motor sports with an Irish historic racer.