Interview: Dennis Bickmeier (2-16-18)

Wes McElroy
Friday, February 16th

Richmond Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier joins Wes to talk the new faces of NASCAR, how it will affect the sport moving forward and some changes he would like to see across NASCAR in the future.

00:08:14

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Now a guy who's actually at a raceway. He's done in Daytona he's our buddies are Bally's a friend. He is the president a Richmond raceway Dennis Dick Mayer joining us on the deed Mercer rug cleaning up nine how's the weather in Daytona friend. Or it's so beautiful sunrise here in Daytona. I am looking out over the water so I'm just trying to rub it in a little bit sure it's it's gorgeous. Reliving you don't rub it reloading vicariously through you and it looks like it's going to be good weather all weekend long for practice today and also for the race on Sunday. Dennis you got a lot of new faces around this sport lot of new faces a lot of young guys that it feels almost like there should be the hello my name is tags on some of these drivers what do you think about the youth movement of this sport collectively coming together this season. Well I think it's exciting for the sport now mean a lot of conversation and about bilking your attire what's gonna happen and you know I think you saw last month paid. In the duels rhyme or any one wander in and chief cellular one the other and and in that whole conversation when you talk about. I think we're in good hands now why there's no question these young drivers will have to work hard hit. To build their brand and and build their fan base but. I think they have the pedigree to do it for shares not excited about that. And then at Doral installment in the Arabic that the driver who took over you know junior strategy mediate put that car you know on the number one starting position next turn around any hamlets. It's been fun to see how this unfold this week. Kyle Busch and a couple weeks ago that he he was upset he would like all the attention going to the younger drivers the less accomplished guys and to me I I said I have no problem because the sport needs a shake up and I'm not the only one saying it Dale Junior as the guy who say it's amazing we need to rely on our younger guys need to listen to them we need to market them. Is that your is that your case the need to appeal these younger drivers and get pressure and get to a new audience. Yet there's there's no question and I think again I think is cast can do it. And it isn't. I've not followed that closely as well accomplished gone back mortality gad about. You know marking the young drivers vs some of the veteran you know. Count them around for a long time did not that'll hold it and there's. But you know it. It if it again I think that's well part of I think we've got a really really interest at six of those drivers between two guys you. We have war you know a lot of wind and and some championships. And and then you get this influx of young guys that you know it's finally over at Hendrick Motorsports may. They you know what one of our our biggest teams for a long time. Yet Jimmie Johnson is kind of like to grandpa over there now on and three young drivers and chased out at William Byron. And down and out Bowman. So you know you're heading motorsports we ye not gonna go promote those those other three guys along with Jamie again you are because that you know that's so we do. So you know I have no problem with the attention is being given to the young drivers in the sport. Because some of them have come out do it right they just come up a lot quicker. Then some of these other guys have you know I mean. You know William Byron is a great example me glued to the truck series and it's going to be serious won a championship and bam knees now independent motorsports. This district by joining us president Richmond raceway US macro fox sports 910 this is a weekend's celebration and I don't take away from that of course I do wanna get your pick but it's not being good for NASCAR and you know this you know attendance has been downhill the ratings have been down. And Dennis I'd love talk radio I'm not trying to get in trouble here but Dennis got a lot of great ideas he got a lot of good ideas. Is there an idea can you tell us an idea that you share with NASCAR saying hey look. Is my business. I don't attract here we we we need to do better we need to do this can you give us an idea something that you would love to see NASCAR do. Yeah it has an a couple of things well won out they would confront about coming down as this week compared to some other ones Wes is. Our tracks gain direct patient ears that track something track. So in in Europe on yes some of our marketing initiatives and what we're trying to do locally ten. To help build the sport and rebrand the sport and and and and still sort of fire or we're trying you know bring soon to destroy expect our brand and the market. They ears is he staying there I think that we're working on that we've had some conversations. With NASCAR about actually starting back in December when we brought together. War at the banquet and based ones is. We jump ball and both feet in. Actually we think that's a great way to to to talk to a millennial audience and growing it's changing every day but we're in that space and were in that stage very aggressively with that we are on. So what we're talking to you know certain demo stance that's that's been brought that that love. And and we want engagement that we get her own. So it's how the attention. Peep when the industry that's for sure some of our team members. Made a presentation at some other racetracks. Yesterday so. I'm excited about that I think you know we gotta you gotta try to stitch where they shot she got. Simpson stands at a certain age that are in the South Bend. Gotta go and then in and into how to welcome and are involved with them at that level and I think. It's up Dorgan continues stay involved written in toner paper has decent results and that the other one is. At the local level. And we need our local race tracks to be healthy and I say it all the time if if if the local tracks in the south side. Langley in South Boston demeaning if they're healthy we're gonna be helped because that's where we're gonna grow the sport we give and we gap they have. We can programming you know full week starting in April through whatever September or October. We need to continue to have success at the local level with these racetracks so we started reaching Virginia which. For us we help these tracks we supply marketing and communication and and in some respects you neighbor. There's a process sponsorship support we develop team wreaking Virginia we have some young drivers were working with ownership yet. So were involved at a grassroots level. In I think to me it would there's a lot that we can do to impact this sport. At a local level and then from NASCAR standpoint. That it is I think about the competition you know what happened on the racetrack helps us sell tickets. And I think we've gone to a lot of changes in NASCAR with rules and things over the last year's one thing that has to how unclear and I NASCAR meeting earlier this week it. You know no no more changes no big swings in rules and format that things like that I think that get I think it's good for the index looked calm down but let things. I play out for a couple of years. No Dennis I've had conversations and a view not that some I'll keep off the record but I I've said this many times on the air I can't say specifically to since since cynics there and I said there's a lot times. That I know NASCAR should listen the and they don't I think there's ingenious ideas I got thirty seconds left in me a winner on Sunday. Well how you know my I kicked accuse him I had that accomplished it is first Daytona 500 with our gut keeps saying Ryan blaming men and and he showed it last flight somewhere to go crackdown on this so the optic optic. That one other young dark topic rambling. So you're going to get to pick in the paper already. I am I am I going opposite TR TD they can you believe it. I was I was Susie didn't go to accountable but our race which in this day. Logged because of the lottery vision on Saturday I'd put down her I have Laney did as enjoy your time down there announcing a couple weeks but friend. Yep looks forward to getting back common and then lost teleport in the Egypt dot Bancorp. I he got Richmond raceway president Dennis Dick Meyer racing right around the corner.
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