Local racing jobs still revving

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nhraDespite the downturned economy, the long-view shows the motorsports sector is growing in Indiana. Studies compiled by the Indiana Motorsports Association and IUPUI indicate there’s been a 37 percent growth in the number of motorsports related jobs in Indiana since 2004.

IMA Executive Director Tom Weisenbach estimates there are more than 1,600 motorsports related companies statewide, with at least 1,000 in central Indiana. Weisenbach said if all the small race teams are counted, the tally is near 2,000. Fast-growing pockets in Brownsburg and near Park 100 have fueled the growth.

“We’ve been working on a comprehensive list of Indiana motorsports companies for three-and-a-half years, and it’s still very much a work in progress,” Weisenbach said. “Every time we go to Fort Wayne, South Bend, Angola or wherever, we turn up more companies.”

State figures formerly indicated that there were about 1,200 racing related companies in Indiana, but Weisenbach said, “We blew that out of the water.” Weisenbach also noted that there are 52 race tracks in Indiana, more than just a handful of states. The number of tracks is actually down, from 56 last year. “A few months of bad weather can really hurt some of these tracks,” Weisenbach said. “Luckily, many of them have very dedicated, stable ownership.”

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