It’s fair to say that the NASCAR fanbase, at least those on Twitter, did not approve of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Between the race featuring a grand total of three lead changes, and a questionable caution on the final lap causing all sorts of unnecessary chaos and in the process being the only source of entertainment for the race, it was a bad night overall for Speedway Motorsports and Texas Motor Speedway.
However, on Monday in an interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Speedway Motorsports President & CEO Marcus Smith didn’t see what the big deal was.
“We had it in Charlotte for a number of years of course. And we did it in Bristol in 2020 when we couldn’t have it in North Carolina. We moved it to Texas the last couple of years,” Smith said. “This year we had more people buying tickets than last year. We had an increase in tickets and camping. It was a lot of fun for all of the people in the Southwest region of the United States.”
Despite the race being, as Smith said, “A lot of fun for all of the people in the Southwest region of the United States,” there sure seemed to be an overwhelming majority of the fanbase that deadpanned the event on Twitter.
Here is a small sampling of the reactions to the 2022 NASCAR All-Star Race on Twitter:
I hate everything having to do with this track and race. It’s an embarrassment to the sport.#NASCAR
— Jaret Lundberg (@IceTitan80) May 23, 2022
— Harris (LUEcreative) (@HarrisLue) May 23, 2022
Boring. Embarrassing. I've been a fan since '76 . #NASCAR should be ashamed of that race and format.
— Dave Ryan (@DaveRya44976410) May 23, 2022
To the negative reaction, Smith chalked it up to not being able to please everyone.
“It kind of amazes me, and this is just in general, but when we had it in Charlotte, we had some detractors, who would always say, ‘Why is it in Charlotte?’ or ‘It’s just a warm up event,’ and we move it and people say, ‘Let’s put it back in Charlotte.’ So, one thing I’ve found is that nobody likes change and nobody likes anything to stay the same. It’s one of those things, you can’t make everyone happy,” Smith said.
Smith also says that, “There’s just some people out there that like to complain, more often than anything. We really take out job seriously at putting on a phenomenal, memorable event, every single weekend. If you look at all of the things our team at Texas did to deliver an amazing fan experience — I think if you talk to the fans that were there, they had a great time. I saw thousands and thousands of them and they were having a great time, as I was.”
Here is a video clip of the interview that Smith conducted on SiriusXM:
Speedway Motorsports, Inc. President & CEO @MarcusSMI joined @DanielleTrotta & @LarryMac28 today on #SXMOnTrack and spoke about whether he would consider moving the #AllStarRace to a venue that’s not currently on the #NASCAR schedule. pic.twitter.com/5UWxnjeiiw
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) May 23, 2022
Following Smith’s interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, another massive punch in the gut occurred for the 2022 NASCAR All-Star Race. The event went on to receive the worst approval rating of any race in recorded history of the ‘Was it a Good Race Poll’ which The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck has done for a total of 239 NASCAR Cup Series races.
Only 11% of 33,812 people that voted selected that the race was a good race.
It seems that people from the Southwest region of the United States don’t participate in Jeff Gluck’s poll, or perhaps the race was just bad.
Here’s to hoping the 2023 NASCAR All-Star elicits a positive reaction.