Penske Introduces Upcoming IMS Upgrades
After taking ownership of the NTT IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in January 2020, Roger Penske and his Penske Entertainment team made an immediate plan to begin renovating the aging areas of IMS.
As RACER’s Robin Miller wrote in July 2020, the efforts included “widening and re-paving Georgetown Road, adding 30 new video cards, renovating washrooms and concession stands, adding five miles of new fences, giving a new look to the victory podium, being able to wash everything that does not move, with the addition of the Verizon 5G internet service.
Further work continued in 2021, and with most of the key projects completed, Penske says the plan for 2022 is to continue working on his extensive IMS to-do list.
“Our budget for this year is around $ 8 million,” Penske told RACER. “And it has to do with the interview [capital expenses] and also things that we are trying to improve. We’re working on where customers come in at gate 9, changing the counters to make things easier. We’re looking at what we can do to add capacity and support for RVs in the right areas.
“We are considering buying an additional property. One great thing that we are going to fix is the NASCAR race curbs. We are going to (do) a major repaint of the Tower Terrace grandstands at the exit of turn 4 inside; we paint all the rear infrastructure below up to the pagoda. It is a huge job. Making all the stairwells and all the structures is enormous. We installed a brand new carpet in the media center. At the golf course, we are installing four new bridges. So when you start adding up, there’s a lot going on.
Another area of development underway under Penske’s leadership is a reconnection between the Speedway and the automotive industry. As one of the largest car dealership owners in North America, Penske’s relationships with domestic and international brands have already benefited IMS, as big names like Chevrolet, Ferrari, and Porsche are among the manufacturers that praise facilities and regularly use the IMS road route for vehicles. development and client-related activities.
And with another project underway that will see a new building erected where a scoring tower has stood in the infield for decades, Penske will offer another manufacturer a semi-regular home within IMS.
“We are demolishing the old octagon between turns 3 and 4 and building a new building there that will be used by us during race days,” said Penske. “And when we’re not racing, BMW will use it to promote its products to its customers, dealers and employees.
“What it does is it gives us the opportunity to have something that we can use for them, and we can also use it for the 500 because it has a big bridge over it for viewing. We have a lot of big builders who want to be in Indianapolis to work with us and use the track.