Speedway businesses eager for second May race
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is adding a second race in May - an IndyCar road race. It's planned for the second weekend in May, just two weeks before the Indy 500.
Joan Brown, who works at Dawson's on Main, a Speedway restaurant, is thrilled.
"I'm all over it. I simply love it," she said. "We do amazing during the 500 and we have a lot of regulars, so it's nice."
Brown, who grew up in Speedway, thinks a second race would mean more money for Dawson's and many other Speedway businesses.
People are really excited about it," she said. "We love another race coming, every single resident, for the most part."
Ed Scotten, who lives just down the street from the track is one of those residents on the fence. One the one hand, he think the track is under-utilized.
"If you look at the facility and what they could do with that place, you could have races eight months of the year," said Scotten.
But even though he loves motor sports, he's not so sure about the timing of the road race.
"I just down know, two in May may not be a good idea because people only have so much money," he said. "We used to go to NASCAR races and if you try to camp out and do all that stuff now, it's almost cost-prohibitive. I don't know. It might work. It might not."
Others worry the race could hurt the 500.
IMS President Doug Boles said, "We understand the push back, the concerns, but once we roll out the reasons we think fans will embrace it....the purpose and expectation for this is we'll really kick off May with a bang."
Boles said the goal is to elevate the Indy 500 and increase the fan base.
"We think [the new race will] bring a lot more people here in May and not just locally, but more national media exposure because the race is on the Indy Car series, it's a points-paying event," he said.
IMS will roll out further details Tuesday afternoon, including the course layout, ticket prices, etc.
He said the tickets, which go on sale in October, will cost less than 500 tickets.
"We're trying to make it as affordable as possible for people to attend the 500 and the road race," Boles said.
While some fans may still need convincing, Brown does not.
She said, "I've loved my Speedway for eons and the racing community is incredible."
Not long after IMS CEO walked in Dawson's for lunch. Pointing to Brown, he said, "We like her."
Brown quickly shot back, "We like you more!" Especially with another race on the way.