Various cars and teams were on hand Saturday for the third day of registration and practice.
By Al Stilley
The Indianapolis Speedrome opens for its 80th season Saturday night with the Wayne Arnold Memorial Fast Start 75-lap Late Model Figure-8.
Racing begins at 7 p.m. with Factory FWDs, Faskarts, and Legends cars in 25-lap features on the one-fifth-mile paved oval. The track is at Brookville Road and Kitley Avenue.
Interest is high for the new season, especially after a year of health restrictions due to the Covid pandemic. Health protocols will be followed by fans and participants Saturday night.
“We will continue our rise from 2019 and what was anticipated for 2020 before Covid,” track president Jonathan Byrd II added. “Our fans, like everyone, have been pent-up and are ready for the excitement of the Figure-8.”
Last year, owner Kevin Garrigus added amenities to the historic short track and this season the Speedrome expands its reach. The Speed Sport Network has a five-year marketing agreement with with the Speedrome for production, technology, business services, equipment support, and marketing for the full schedule. The pact also includes non-national touring series events at the expanded Circle City Raceway dirt track at the Marion County Fairgrounds.
“This is a great beginning, a partnership with media, podcasts, website and what we can do together to bring Figure-8 racing to the world,” Byrd said Saturday. “They (Speed Sport) are excited about Figure-8 racing and we are among ‘favorite nation’ status with them. That’s the really big thing coming this season.”
Byrd said that more details of broadcasts will be announced later.
The second-generation motorsports enthusiast also pointed out that interest is growing among all divisions.
Byrd emphasized that the Speedrome has great entertainment value for all sports fans throughout central Indiana.
“You can’t have better pricing for any event in the city,” Byrd said. “Our ticket prices are the lowest for any event in town, children are free, and parking is free.”
Racing is on Saturday nights with many special events: Demolition derbies; school-bus and trailer Figure-8s; winged 410 sprints; and $5,000 “Rumble for the Track Record,” an Indiana shootout to set a track record on the oval; fireworks extravaganza; and World Figure-8 three-hour endurance race.
The Speedrome has been open for registration and practice for three consecutive Saturdays. The interest and turnout for all divisions has been impressive.
Southside drivers on hand for the third practice included Figure-8 drivers Mark Tunny and Mike Riddle Jr. of the Southside and Southport alum Larry Hahn, one of the track’s top Stock class competitors.
“I have a new car and a new outlook,” said Riddle, who began Figure-8 racing in 2012. “We didn’t have a good year last year, so we need to get back to making the racing fun again.”
Tickets on opening night Saturday are $10, ages 13-64 years; $8 for seniors, military, and first responders. Kids 12-and-under free with an adult. There is special pricing for special events.
Info: call 317-353-8206 or online at www.speedrome.com.