Chicagoland Speedway's race weekend schedule originally didn't include the option for the public to see Friday's Sprint Cup Series practices. But after hearing from miffed fans, the track has apparently changed its mind.
Track president Scott Paddock told SportingNews.com the track switched its plans after learning via social media that being able to watch Cup practice "seemed to be an important thing to the fans." Only campers were going to be permitted to see the Friday practice sessions on the first weekend of the Chase, but now it'll be open to fans for a $10 charity donation.
"I'm sure it's a modest number, but they're vocal and they're avid and the lesson I learned is when there's on-track activity, you owe it to your fans an opportunity to witness that," Paddock told the site.
The track wasn't selling tickets to the practices and there is no race or qualifying at the track that day. Surely, this had something to do with the expense of staffing the venue with everything from security to concessions to ticket-takers.
But still – not opening the track for a Cup practice? That seems unprecedented. Fortunately, the track seems to have realized closing the stands wasn't going to be very popular with its customers.
The lesson here? If you see something happening you don't like at your favorite track, let them know. More often than not, they'll listen.