I find it's in the middle. For people like me, and other Kings Island history buffs, Racer is extremely integral in the park's lineup and in coaster history and that it should be preserved. It also seems to be very popular. The park concedes that it has gotten over 1 million riders each season since 1972, and that only Mystic Timbers, Banshee and Diamondback get more riders annually (which may change with Orion).
However, for many years, I have heard people complain about the roughness. I find that most younger people don't have the appreciation for it. The track work and reprofiling this past offseason by Gravity Group and the park's wood coaster maintenance team seems to have paid off and it seems like it's making a comeback. I also really like the LED uplighting on the white structure and how it is incorporated into the fireworks show.
In my opinion, Gravity Group should continue retracking it until the entire course is reprofiled and smoothed out. I through out the suggestion of changing one of the hills coming back in and adding a double down, but that's unlikely to ever happen. And like how BoddaH said above, bring back the red white and blue paint on the structure.
I think it certainly has benefits and downfalls.
The fact that much of the ride has been modernized kind of kills the nostalgic feel of the ride. It’s not like The Jackrabbit at Kennywood, which is like stepping back in time. Also, years of wear causes “just another rough old coaster” feel for those who don’t care about its history.
With that being said, I think the track work has really given the ride a second life. You can actually feel the airtime without that feeling that the train “crashes” at the bottom of the hill. I’ve said all along that The Racer will be painted its old colors for the 50th. That’s my personal prediction. That may create a whole new appreciation for the ride.