A local business owner, Charlotte Green, runs a liquor store and two convenience shops in of Talladega. She and many other shop owners were worried what the decrease in race attendance would mean for their businesses.
"We were concerned about it but for the most part it held it's own," said Green.
Talladega's Mayor Larry Barton thinks you have to look at the big picture to understand why there was a drop off at all. "The camp grounds were not as filled as they normally are, the motels we're off some and once again it goes back to the economy," said Barton.
With the rising cost of gasoline, Barton believes people simply can't afford to travel to race weekends as often. That keeps them from spending money in his city.
"They have to pick and choose, they're going to buy medicine, groceries, sports, or whatever. There are priorities that have to get in," said Barton.
Superspeedway chairman Grant Lynch agrees. "With those big motor homes, and pull behind campers and everything, it really hits them in the pocketbook on all of that gas," said Lynch.
Lynch thinks it's going to take more than just a spectacular race to bring people back to the track. "The country has to come around, the southeast has to come around, and people have to feel better about their personal situation," he said. And until that happens, merchants like Charlotte Green will have to continue to do what they do on race weekends.
"I don't know what it is about Talladega, but with the way the race ended I believe we'll doubt that come coming back next race," said Green.
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