Analyzing Speedwayâ??s success

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If you were at the track over the weekend or in the past few weeks, you made your way through Speedway, an island of stability
in a county where some other older communities, like Beech Grove, are slipping into decay.

Speedway has managed to stay solidly middle-class despite its blue-collar demographic. The town has good schools, lots of
nicely maintained houses, and forward-thinking leadership. As IBJ
this weekend, Speedway leaders are bent on pushing ahead with a big revitalization plan to make the town a year-round
racing attraction.

How has Speedway, which occupies a mere four square miles, stayed the course?

It helps to have lots of money. Not only does Indianapolis Motor Speedway pour tax dollars into the townâ??s coffers, but so
do Allison Transmission, the Marathon fuel terminal and Praxair, the industrial gas firm. Those locations hire plenty of people
at good wages, too.

Residents also take pride in the town, says council President Gary Raikes. And the school system glues the town together socially.
Speedway isnâ??t quite Mayberry, but itâ??s close, Raikes insists.

What do you think? Can other communities learn from Speedway?

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