When Dale Earnhardt Jr. crossed the finish line in second place in Sunday’s Daytona 500, I doubt that the first thing running through his mind was the people of Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Alright, it’s not his responsability to think about the people of AMS. It’s his responsability to drive a race car to the best of his ability, and on Sunday, he did just that. And on Sunday, he had more important things to think about; himself, his teammates, his team, and what his second place finish did for their morale.
So why should he have put a little bit of thought into the people of AMS? Because he cost them $174,000.
You see, Atlanta Motor Speedway runs this promotion every year. They sell 2,000 tickets at the price of the winning car number of the Daytona 500. If Dale Earnhardt Jr. had finished a single position higher, AMS could’ve sold 2,000 tickets at $88 apiece.
But he didn’t. The winner of the race, Jamie McMurray, drives the #1 car. So Atlanta Motor Speedway had to sell 2,000 tickets at $1 apiece; $87 less than if Earnhardt had won.
When you multiply 2,000 by 87, you get 174,000, which is how much money the track lost when Earnhardt came up short. By the way, the $1 tickets are all sold out.
I’m not complaining, by any stretch of the imagination. As a fan, I’d rather buy $1 tickets than $88 tickets, as would anybody(except perhaps the diehardest of Junior fans). But if I were the track president, I’d be pretty miffed.
I wonder what would happen if David Reutimann won the Daytona 500?