NASCAR said Brickyard 400 attendance declined by only 2,000 this year, which would beat most expectations and be a major victory for Indianapolis Motor Speedway if accurate.
Because the attendance number – NASCAR said there were 138,000 people at Sunday's race – is just an estimate and not an official number, it's impossible to say for sure. But there were several sections in the turns that were completely empty and weren't sold at all.
Last year, when the attendance was estimated at 140,000, that wasn't the case. Longtime track observers said Sunday's crowd was the smallest in the 18 NASCAR races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Since the 2010 crowd declined by an estimated 40,000 people from 2009 and by 60,000 the year before, a decline of only 2,000 this year would be considered a huge win. But again, there's no way to know whether it was an accurate number or an inflated one.
Here's a look at some of the recent Brickyard 400 attendance estimates:
2007 – 270,000
2008 – 240,000
2009 – 180,000
2010 – 140,000
2011 – 138,000