IRL drafts off NASCAR

July 25, 2008
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byard400Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George’s open-wheel racing enterprise has gotten a boost from its fendered brethren that few outside racing circles are aware of.

So powerful is the connection between NASCAR and the Indy Racing League that a growing number of motorsports insiders believe the 12-year-old open-wheel series that toppled Champ Car/CART could not have survived without the good old boys of the stock car circuit.

With the 15th annual Brickyard 400 approaching Sunday, the IMS should get another nice bump in its revenue stream. Annual revenue from the NASCAR event is estimated by various industry sources to be more than $35 million. With far less overhead than hosting either the Indianapolis 500 or a Formula One event, much of that money goes straight to the bottom line.

Motorsports business experts estimate the NASCAR race has netted more than $300 million in profit for the Speedway over the event’s first 14 years.

“The Brickyard 400 is the epitome of utilizing a fixed-cost asset ,” said Tim Frost , president of Chicago-based Frost Motorsports, a consulting firm specializing in motorsports business operations. “For the single-day event, it has to be very near in terms of revenue generation to the Indianapolis 500.”

George’s decision to host the Brickyard 400 might not have been spurred by the thought that revenue from the event could be used to launch an new open-wheel circuit, but it certainly emboldened him to do so, said sources close to George.

Speedway officials acknowledge that funds from the highly profitable NASCAR race have been funneled to the IRL, which for much of its first decade struggled to stay out of the red.
  • Why is this news? This has been obvious to even the casual observer for more than a decade. Mr. George runs a private enterprise and may invest his profits in whatever manner he sees fit. I for one hope that the NASCAR event remains profitable and the IRL reaps the benefits for years to come.
  • Let's see, sports + business = sportsbusiness. This is a sportsbusiness site, right? Ok, then. I don't think anyone is disputing that TG can do whatever he wants with his private enterprise or the funds it raises. People might take issue with it from time to time, but dispute his right to it, no.
  • Anthony,

    This does go into the Thank you Mr. Obvious bin. TG even stated that The Brickyard gave him the financial ability to launch the IRL. Not sure if you were slow on sports on Brickyard weekend (try the unveiling of Stewarts new car) or if you dislike the IRL and are trying to make digs at it.
  • It might seem a no-brainer now, but when Tony brought in NASCAR, he couldn't even get a TV network to bite on a rights fee deal. So IMS Productions bought the air time for the first Brickyard 400, and Speedway officials sold the TV ads themselves. Suffice it to say, the ads sold out, and they're not buying the time any more.

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!