I think one thing that we as "racers" fail to realize is that people like us are great to have but we aren't what will keep the hobby alive. If there were 10 times the number of "racers" that wouldn't be enough to sustain a healthy industry. What the hobby needs is casual participants who come in and have a good time playing with their toys, tell others about it and come back for more occasionally. When was the last time any of us just showed up at a track to show off your newly painted body or run a few laps for the fun of it? Sure, for those that have a "home" track they may come in to test or try out that new set up but they never come just to run the cars for the fun of it.
When the hobby shifted from the "just a fun thing to do with friends" to competition I think it was the beginning of the decline. Don't get me wrong, nothing bad about competing. That's what the appeal is to me and probably most that frequent the Slotblog, but there are not enough of us to support a whole comercial industry.