Red Robin Invitational cancelled due to negative fan feedback

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Red Robin Invitational cancelled due to negative fan feedback

Post by crl on Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:16 pm

The 2010-2011 CRL Modified Division season opened with a special, non-points race where only the 2009 pole winners were eligible. The inaugural Red Robin Invitational was held at Irwindale Speedway in California. 13 drivers took part in the race, where the winner picked up $250,000.

The 75-lap race was mostly dull. The most dramatic moment came when the field rolled off of pit road for the pace lap. Holden Roberts, the young Canadian who had drawn the pole, had an engine failure when he popped the clutch to leave the pits, leaving Roberts with, not a DNF, but a DNS.

When the green flag did come out, CJ Long and Randy Robinson swapped the lead five times officially early on, with Robinson leaving the field in his dust after the fifth swap, literally lapping the field on his way to the biggest payday of his career. There were no cautions, so there was no chance for the field to bunch up.

While Robinson's performance was nothing short of amazing, the race left a lot of fans bored. The CRL recently posted its annual fan survey on its website. The Red Robin Invitational got the most negative feedback of any race. 95 percent of fans gave it a thumbs down. Fans were also allowed to comment on the races.

"Once Robinson lapped the field, we got up and left," wrote one female fan who attended the race. "We listened to the rest of it on the radio on the drive back home."

"It was a good idea - until the green flag dropped," wrote another female fan.

"I watched it on TV," wrote a male fan. "Once it became clear Robinson wasn't gonna be caught, I put it on MLB Network. I came back to see who won."

"I thought when Holden Roberts' engine blew, that the race would be filled with all sorts of drama," wrote another male fan. "It turned out to be more boring than Titanic."

Some fans did leave positive comments, though the majority of them were Robinson fans. Outside of those positive comments, the theme was "give it a chance."

Due to this negative feedback, the race will be discontinued.

"It was an experiment between us and Red Robin," said CRL President Josh McCollum. "It didn't work out the way we wanted, so we'll chalk it up as a loss, and move forward."

Red Robin has stated that they will continue to sponsor the CRL Modified Division's Pole Award.

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