Is NASCAR losing its punch? Consider Speedway Motorsports (NYSE:TRK), which found its engines improving for its latest fiscal year, but just barely. The racetrack operator zoomed to the finish line to mark its seventh consecutive year of record revenue trophies, but admissions took a slight dip.

Speedway makes most of its money from selling revenues to racing events, primarily NASCAR-sanctioned races. While attendance at those sponsored events was up, it was not enough to offset the overall decline experienced at all the events Speedway hosts. Admissions were off by 1%, though weather and higher fuel prices were identified as the primary culprits.

Growth for the year rang in at 4.2%, an improvement over Q4's 2.8% drop in revenue to $148.2 million. Revenue from Speedway's second-largest revenue segment, NASCAR Broadcasting, saw a 15.4% increase in revenue over last year. But before taking a celebration lap, Speedway has to deal with a recent agreement that may hinder its revenue. The company renegotiated its NASCAR broadcasting contract, and that undoubtedly explains why the company's guidance for the coming year was flat.

Domestic broadcast rights to the Nextel and Busch series events was extended to eight years through the 2014 racing season and is valued at $4.5 billion. Industry rights to the revenue, however, were lowered 12% to about $505 million annually -- affecting Speedway and others in the industry, such as competitor International Speedway (NASDAQ:ISCA). Based on the current race calendar, Speedway's take will be $20 million lower in 2007, but future increases should equal around 3% per year.

One bright spot was the increase of corporate sponsorship of events, which saw a 10.9% increase for the year. Unfortunately, this segment is just a small part of the business, at 10.4% of total revenue, or $59 million. However, companies are beginning to realize just how popular NASCAR is. Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) has a racetrack named after it under a 10-year naming agreement, as does Infineon (NYSE:IFX). Even the likes of Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), DaimlerChrysler (NYSE:DCX), and Motorola (MYSE: MOT) have realized the potential in sponsorships as a part of their marketing strategy. So with most of the corporate sponsorships already sold for the Nextel and Busch race events in 2007 and even some in 2008, Speedway remains optimistic.

So to answer that opening question, NASCAR is still wildly popular, and its fans are diehard enthusiasts. However, it might just be that the sport's popularity has peaked. NASCAR itself says that crowds at some races decreased by a third last year, fewer than half of the Cup races were sold out, and TV audiences were down during most of the races telecast, according to USA Today.

More than likely, those attendance numbers are behind the renegotiated broadcast-rights deal and may better explain Speedway's decreased admissions take. As the smaller of the two publicly traded track operators, Speedway Motorsports gets a yellow flag from this Fool.

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Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.