Senior staff writer
Speedrome owner Kevin Garrigus is expanding the southeastside racetrack’s business interests.
First-year owner Garrigus guided a resurgence at the historic venue with increased attendance, a record crowd at the World Championship Figure-8 and $500,000 of improvements.
At the recent PRI Trade Show at the Indiana Convention Center, track president and Greenwood native Jonathan Byrd II announced the opening of Third Turn Performance for race car sales; naming rights with three sponsors; OK’ing drifting (where drivers intentionally oversteer while maintaining control in corners); and the return of Legends Cars and demolition derbies.
Third Turn Performance is located just west of the Speedrome’s third turn at 6400 Brookville Road. The new business will build and sell chassis and parts for Late Models (figure-8 cars), Faskarts, Junior Faskarts and Legends Cars.
The company also becomes the Midwest dealer for Legends Cars, which were introduced at the track in 1994, and performance parts of all kinds, not just Speedrome cars.
Garrigus and Byrd explained that having a sales facility close to the track will provide products to Speedrome racers and other racers. It also becomes a new business in the Brookville Road corridor near I-465 and I-74.
“The interest in the Speedrome has been unparalleled,” Byrd said at the PRI Trade Show media center. “We have a lot of fun events ahead, and we are thankful that we can be the home for racing in central Indiana. We will continue to be the leader in racing.”
Byrd also announced several new companies that signed on with naming rights:
• The new official title of the track will be the Tom Wood Group Indianapolis Speedrome Powered by Lincoln Tech. The Tom Wood Group is wrapping up its 50th year in business. Its original location was at 3125 E. Washington St., not too far from the Speedrome; it now has 18 dealerships in the Midwest.
• Lincoln Tech continues its longtime association with the Speedrome as the track’s presenting sponsor in 2018.
• The prestigious Late Model division will be titled the Jackson Oil Solvents Late Models fueled by VP Racing.
• Circle City Pyrotechnics, which revived the annual fireworks show, returns as a sponsor of Junior Faskarts, a series that has produced more female competitors and winners than any other division in Speedrome history.
• The revival of the Legends Cars will be known as the Superior Finish Lawn & Landscape Legends Series. The cars are built in Charlotte, N.C., and are sanctioned in the United States and internationally by INEX.
The regional series includes Anderson and Sportsdrome tracks and has a $10,000 point fund.
“Years ago Legends Cars were really hot in Indiana, but the market has not been as stable,” INEX Legends Cars sales manager Ashley Garrett said. “It is stable again and ready to grow. I couldn’t be happier with a home base for Legends Cars at the Speedrome.”
Byrd said plans are underway for concerts at the track with national acts in 2018.
Legends competitors will race in state and season championship races and a national qualifying event at the Speedrome, which will open April 7 for its 76th season.
IndyCar veteran Simon Pagenaud was among those who expressed his excitement for high-speed figure-8 racing at the track. “It’s scary stuff,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun to watch, and I do watch it.”
Garrigus, who owns Advance Auto Sales locations on the Eastside and Southside, has made many improvements to the track: expanded parking, new rest rooms and a ticket booth, stadium seats on the front stretch, a renovated pit office, upgraded security, $5 fan appreciation nights, monster trucks and a National Guard car show.
He is the first owner of the Speedrome to receive the Hoosier Auto Racing Fans Top Promoter Award.