On May 29, the Indianapolis 500 will celebrate its 100th anniversary. With record- attendance expected, the race track brings in $315 million annually for Indiana’s economy.
“I saw this piece about Indy 500 and it was America-- and it kind of is. If you look at the birth of the automobile and the way that this race has affected that in particular, all the traditions of the 500, it’s the world’s largest single day sporting event. I would anticipate nearly 4,000 people there this year which will be pretty spectacular,” said IndyCar driver Graham Rahal to the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.
Graham is the youngest race-car driver in history to win the Indianapolis 500, and the son of 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal. He is also married to NHA Funny Car driver Courtney Force.
“Our family, we focus really hard on the kids obviously to build the future fans of our sport. I think we are seeing a growth in that area… Certainly today it is more difficult to get the eyeball than it was a long time ago… Particularly in IndyCar, we’ve seen growth numbers year in, year out, which I think we are the only motorsport to see that and the other thing we are seeing is attendance.”
Rahal participates in the race with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, a team part-owned by his father and David Letterman.
“Dave’s been a big part of our sport for many, many years. He’s from Indianapolis, you know, and he loves IndyCar racing, so we are going to see him every weekend of this May… He was a big part in putting the Steak ‘n’ Shake deal together, which is one of our big sponsors,” he said.
Rahal said the fastest he’s ever driven is 256 MPH in Indianapolis.