Eight Indiana race tracks join alliance led by former NASCAR promoter

January 8, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler is at the wheel of an initiative to breathe new life—and money—into myriad auto racing tracks across the country.

Eight tracks in Indiana are set to be beneficiary of Wheeler’s new endeavor.

Wheeler made a name for himself as the president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, one of the premier auto racing venues owned by Bruton Smith’s Speedway Motorsports Inc. Charlotte has been the site of many memorable NASCAR races.

Wheeler has since departed that post, but remains close to auto racing and last month launched Speedway Benefits LLC.

Speedway Benefits, Wheeler explained, is an alliance of tracks to leverage more and bigger advertising and sponsorship deals across those tracks. Speedway Benefits has already signed 300 tracks to be members, and Wheeler thinks he will have close to 1,000 as the initiative matures in 2015.

Wheeler’s son, Trip, a 20-year motorsports sales veteran, is helping lead the initiative. Already, the Wheelers said they have brought on some of the top grass roots tracks in the U.S., including Marshalltown Speedway (Iowa), Maryland International Raceway (Maryland), Lernerville Speedway (Pennsylvania) and Caraway Speedway (North Carolina).

Indiana tracks involved include; Terre Haute Action Track, Thunder Valley Raceway, Daugherty Motor Speedway, Baer Field Speedway, Plymouth Speedway, Tri-State Speedway and Miami County Speedway.

“[The number of tracks that have already joined] proves the idea was sound and greatly needed,” Trip Wheeler said. “We are signing up tracks as fast as our seven-person staff can handle. While we will eventually get to 500 or even 1,000 tracks next year, the attendance our member tracks represent now makes us very appealing to global companies.”

The Wheelers said they’re already gotten positive feedback from a number of potential major sponsors.

“The proposition is simple,” Humpy Wheeler said. “We harness the buying power of member tracks to generate instant positive return for sponsors. Converting at even 1 percent rate can generate millions of dollars in new revenue for partner [tracks].”
 

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Blame
    I blame the Hulman family and the IRL braintrust for this...bawaahaawaahaawaaahaawaahaawaahaawaahaa
  • Awesome idea and obviously long needed. Small tracks have little or no ability to reach out to big sponsors. This should be good for all of racing.
  • Maybe IMS will join
    Seriously, it's gotta bring in more $$$ than Brazil sanction fees did last year. Mark Miles, get on this pronto!!!
  • Solid Business Practice
    This just smart management - no magic. It just seems amazing because we see so little of it. What the sport needs is someone who understands it and is grounded in solid business practice. Does this fix everything? Hell no. But it is a step in the right direction. What is needed is people like Humpy and his team THAT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING and with a plan that come into the office everyday with their sleeves rolled up and willing to work long hours in the spirit of teamwork to pull together and genuinely strive to help one another succeed. The Survivor Island culture of private conversations and plotting against your internal competitors while your loyal customers wait outside wringing their hands assuming you are striving to make things better is shameful. Those loyal customers - a dying breed - want to believe you are working to deliver the product they crave. They want a product that they can renew their emotional investment in. They assume this is what you are doing all the while not knowing that what is really going on is internal infighting by posers.
  • Chief no longer has to sign in
    to get his message out. Good work
  • It's boilerplate, I love it!
    It's the truth! Hay Anthony...can you do an expose' on how the Indy Lights champ who gets the Indycar ride with his million bucks is hoofing it because there aint no more money? What good is it all if it becomes a revolving door every year? All us Tristan Vaultier fans are walking away from the sport because that wanker has no ride this year. Mebbee Indycar and IMS needs to have a 5 or 3 year guaranteed ride for indy lite chumps. Even Tony Kanose got a ride...why? Because he's an ex-CART driver, that's why.
  • Big race fan
    I have been a big fan of open wheel racing for the last 5+ years. Go to several races a year and always have a good time. What is CART?
  • CART
    It was a racing series that existed from 1979 to about 2008. It's drivers all were merged into the IRL and later Indycar as we know it today. It was way more popular than NASCAR at the time. Many of it's owners and drivers dominate the Indy 500 and the series today. Some say several hundred million dollars were spent by the IMS to kill CART, because it was wildly popular and made huge bags of cash, even for the speedway. But, CART was so popular that IMS was jealous of it's success and decided to waste all of the IMS resources to kill it. I like the way it turned out because my series was the benefactor of CART's demise and it cost NASCAR NOTHING. IMS footed the bill for it's own destruction and the sport of open wheel. So, remnants you know today as Indycar are merely CART hanger-ons that dominate the dead-also IRL series which was a flop too.
  • Seeking Any Sign of Intelligence
    How is any of this revisionist history fantasy nonsense even remotely related to Humpy Wheeler's marketing effort. You desperate kids are grasping straws. Please do us all a favor and either grow up or refrain from posting nonsense. That makes it easier for adults to navigate.
  • Question for Mr France
    Thanks Mr France for the background. I am confused. If this CART series that you speak of was more popular than NASCAR and an apparently superior series, why in the world would it ever merge with anyone? Doesn't seem to make much business sense?
  • It's the darndest thing
    Ya see, when Indy created the IRL it split up the fanbase for AOW between the new IRL and CART. NASCAR benefited because there was no squabbling and fans had a place to go. Eventually the IRL and CART ran off so many sponsors and fans that the two entities had no choice but to merge to survive in the end. I tried my best to broker deals between the two series back in the 90's but Tony George was set on doing that oval thing and it just wouldn't work. Now they have nothing from it all. It's just all too bad. A shame.
  • Dose of Reality
    The thing that makes it all so unfortunate is that Tony George had a good idea in forming the IRL as intended; i.e., a complementary new series to cart not intended to directly compete. It would have also enhanced the Indianapolis 500. The problem is cart, their arrogance driven 'leadership' and many of their followers immediately misinterpreted, let their feelings by guided by their egos, and began a jihad to destroy the sport if it did not conform to their narrow philosophy. Their scorched earth continued for little more than a decade, and after they failed for a second time the IMS Corporation was put into a position of having to pick up their charred remains in a glorified asset sale. IMS generously positioned it as a merger for the sake of harmony. The real problem is that no one associated with IMS has ever possessed the requisite leadership skills to guide the sport to new heights. The lack of vision associated with everyone who has ever been in any leadership position in open wheel is stunning. As Robin Miller has often indicated most of those in the paddock are snakes who can't be trusted, and most of the 'leadership' seem mentally impaired to the point of abject stupidity. That is where what few fans remaining should focus their attention. It is not a hopeless case. The NHL tried for ten years to kill itself and it has come roaring back despite leadership that is often suspect. The sport needs out-of-the-box thinking, which is what Humpy Wheeler is attempting with operators who have long been the backbone of the sport.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Here are a few candidates for this new group, "ripped from the headlines." First up, that bizzaro State Senator Brent Waltz; secondly, the unethical Todd Huston, and his contractual arrangements scheme; Finally, but not least of all, the dishonorable Eric Turner. What sayeth you Greg Zoeller?

  2. Good day. I can't hide this great testimony that take place in my life I will love everyone to know it and be partaker that is why I always place it on answer, I am Mrs,Natalie Cuttaia by name, I live in Texas, United State Of America, I want to thank (Mr.Bruce Brandon) for his kindness upon my family life. I never knew that there is still nice lender like this on internet and earth here. Just some Months Back, I was in search for a loan of $100,000,00 as I was running out of money for feeding and rent. I was scammed $6,800 Dollars and I decided not to involve my self in such business again but a Friend of my introduced me to a loan firm due to my appearance and doings. And I told him that I am not interested of any loan deal anymore but he told me that there is still a nice lender who he will recommend me to, and I made a trial and I am most grateful lucky am I today, I was given a loan amount of $100,000.00usd, by this great Company (Bruce Brandon Loan Company) managed by (Mr.Bruce Brandon) If you are in need of a genuine or legit loan or financial assistance and you can be reliable and trusted of capable of paying back at the due time of the funds I will advice you to, contact him via: ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com ) And you will be free from scams in the internet. All thanks to Mr.Bruce Brandon You are the one who remove me and my family out of poverty. The reason why i am doing this is that, i promise Mr.Bruce Brandon that if i truly got my loan, i will advertize his company and bring customers to his company. Contact him via ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com )for the Loan you have been looking for..

  3. Hello, We are firm Organization formed to help people in needs of helps,such as financial help. So if you are going through financial difficulty or you are in any financial mess,and you need funds to start up your own business,or you need loan to settle your debt or pay off your bills,start a nice business, or you are finding it hard to obtain capital loan from local banks,contact us today via email mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com So do not let these opportunity pass you by because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever more. Please these is for serious minded and God fearing People. Your Name: Loan Amount: Loan Duration: Valid Cell Phone Number: Thanks for your understanding to your contact as we Await Regards Management Email:mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com

  4. The question is, where could they build a new stadium? It seems in the past year, all the prime spots have been spoken for with potential projects. Maybe in the industrial wasteland area a block past Lucas Oil? I think it needs to be close to the core, if a new stadium is built.

  5. Aldi is generally a great shopping experience. Still, I'm sure YOU wouldn't want to shop there, which I consider a positive.

ADVERTISEMENT