Recent news reports are stating that viewership on televised race events are down 29% among the 18-34 audience. This is an audience that auto racing needs as it transitions from one generation to the next. Short track racing especially needs this generation of fans and competitors as well.
"We should not ignore this demographic, we need them to be involved as a fan, competitor or crew member," Dennis Huth, ASA President said. "Our ASA Member Tracks and sanctioned series have many opportunities for that 18-34 age group. In fact, we have opportunities for those under the age of 18 with entry-level racing to being on a pit crew and earning a scholarship to Ohio Technical College. The sport of auto racing needs this generation."
All ASA Member Tracks offer a cost effective entry level division. No matter if its an asphalt or dirt track, there is a division to start out in. For many, it's a 4-cylinder street stock division or competing in a Legend or Bandolero car. At the track's discretion, someone as young as the age of 14 can participate.
Meridian Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Meridian, ID, has a Junior Stinger division for ages 11-14. Those young drivers must go through a screening before they can compete.
If the interest falls in the area of compact cars like Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cobalt or Honda Accord, check out the ISCAR Dash Touring sanctioned by ASA series. This unique series competes at short track ovals in the Southeast using these styles of cars.
Some may want to do more than turn left but may want to turn right as well. In the Southwest, ASA ProAutoSports and the Bondurant Championship Race Series has a variety of road course racing opportunities.
For high schoolers who are interested in working on a race car but may or may not be interested in racing, the ASA - Student Educational Series provides a great opportunity for a student to get involved at their local ASA Member Track. A student is assigned to a race team where they work as a pit crew member. Students can earn a scholarship to Ohio Technical College in Cleveland, OH, the 2009 School of the Year.
Some have graduated and now are still racing weekly at an ASA Member Track or have gone on to participate in one of the ASA Sanctioned Series where they are traveling regionally and visiting different racetracks.
"We cannot overlook this age group, we need them for this sport to continue and grow," Huth said. "ASA is committed to reaching out to the 18-34 ages of fans. We have a variety of opportunities for them to be involved. That also includes being a fan as they see the best live action and entertainment in their area. All for about the price of going to a movie."
The American Speed Association started as a single racing series in 1968 and is a fast growing racing sanctioning body today. The ASA Member Track program is comprised of asphalt and dirt short tracks along with road courses around the United States, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. To learn more of the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based American Speed Association call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For news and information from all the racetracks and regional tours involved in the ASA, visit www.ASA-Racing.com.