Penske reveals $8 million plans for Indianapolis upgrades

The start of the 2021 Indianapolis 500. Picture: Dan Boyd

Roger Penske is set to deliver a series of upgrades to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the coming year, the circuit owner has revealed.

Penske has owned both IMS and the IndyCar Series for two years now, and is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to the hallowed circuit.

“Our budget for this year is about $8 million,” Penske told Racer.

“And that has to do with maintenance and also things that we’re trying to enhance.

“We’re working on where customers come in at Gate 9, changing the ticket booths around there to make it easier.

“We’re looking at what we can do to add some more capacity for motor homes in the right areas and the support for them.

“We’re looking at buying some additional property.

“A big thing we’re going to fix is the kerbs for the NASCAR race. We’re going to [do a] major repaint of the Tower Terrace grandstands coming off a Turn 4 on the inside; we’re painting the whole back infrastructure underneath all the way down to the Pagoda.

“That’s a huge job. Doing all the stairwells that all the structures, that’s a big one. We’ve put all-new carpet in the media centre.

“At the golf course, we’re putting in four new bridges. So when you start adding it up, there’s a lot going on.”

The reference to fixing kerbs for NASCAR’s benefit comes after mayhem broke loose in the series’ most recent visit to the IMS road course in August last year.

The NASCAR Cup Series will return to Indianapolis on July 31 this year.

The venue’s headline event of 2022 will be the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.

IndyCar will hold a further two races on the road course, on May 14 and July 30.

Another change in the works is a new building in the infield.

“We’re knocking down the old octagon between Turns 3 and 4 and putting up a new building there which will be used by us during race days,” Penske added.

“And when we’re not racing, BMW will use it to promote their products to their customers, dealers and employees.

“What it does is it gives us the opportunity to have something we can use for them, and we also can use it for the 500 because it’s got a big deck on top of for viewing.

“We’ve got a lot of the major manufacturers that want to be at Indianapolis to work with us and use the track.”

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