Since we're having a length of show discussion, it's important to include how the show is attended. I've found that when I'm running around in the pits taking pictures or talking with folks, and then watch a few races from the pit grandstand or spectator stands... and then back to the pits for a while, the length of the show is not as critical. So for "insiders" (those that work at the track/work on a raceteam/related to a driver) they may not even realize how long a show is, or how many breaks there are. Heck, there were nights as a crew member where you hoped they would drag the show out a little more and take an extra break so you could work on the car.
As pointed out elsewhere in the thread, you can't expect unaffiliated fans (non-insiders/those new to the sport) to take a seat in the spectator stands and sit there for 6 hours and really enjoy the show... Many end up leaving never seeing one or more of the features that they sat there hours earlier watching heats for... Often, heat where everyone qualified anyhow.... They will never be back...
Even those that consider themselves as long time fans aren't even coming back very often, and length of show is often cited as the main reason. Yet here we are again, another weekend where some of the local shows blew way past the 3 hour model.
There are sometracks out there where those running the show seem to have no concept of how many breaks/how the show is dragging out. You see them wizzin' around on their golfcarts or quads and they look like they are having a great time... Maybe they hope the night never ends....
Maybe that's the secret..... Maybe they should have an option where you can pay up and they give you the use of a quad for the night.... Then when the show starts to drag out, we can all just hop on our quads and drive around like they do.
I can see it now... "It was a great 6 hour great show... I saw 3 hours worth of racing and spent the other 3 hours doing wheelies..."