MADISON, Ill. – The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 rolls into World Wide Technology Raceway next weekend. The IndyCar Series is growing quickly in popularity and the race team owners are a reason why.
“It's a quick business. It’s one of the most dynamic environments and dynamic businesses really that you could ever own or be a part of,” said James “Sulli” Sullivan, part-owner of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan. “It’s unlike anything I've owned or experienced.”
Race teams spend millions of dollars each year.
“…The amount of manhours it takes to get 1 manhour in a race on the track is phenomenal,” said Dale Coyne, owner of Dale Coyne Racing. “It’s not just the athlete or driver but also the car. 50-50 combination.”
Roger Penske, perhaps the most recognizable name in American motorsports, said whether it’s his Team Penske or another, success begins at the top. He sees IndyCar nearing popularity they have never seen before.
“Us car guys have to make it happen,” he said. “I think the older people should bring younger kids. My dad took me to Indy (racing) when I was 14 and I got the bug at that point. Never left it.”
That kind of enthusiasm is what fuels the racing teams and their owners.
Former driver Jimmy Vasser won the 1996 IndyCar Championship and now is a co-team owner. He loves racing too much to walk away from the sport.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m the chief cheerleader,” he said. “Winning requires people, winning requires chemistry; every day, pulling the same direction.”
At present, there are 11 full-time IndyCar teams. From week-to-week, the competition on the track is fierce. And that’s an awesome aspect as the Bommarito 500 races into town next weekend.
John Bommarito and his group are sponsors for the #18 car, driven by Sébastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing. Bommarito is also a co-owner of Jordan Anderson’s truck in the NASCAR truck series.
“I’m honored to be a part of IndyCar and NASCAR and, if you can position the Bommarito brand next to those brands like that, then you're doing something right,” he said. “And here comes World Wide Technology Raceway, another great brand. Think about what we're going to do for St. Louis!”
Bommarito said fans will see world-class racing next weekend. He said the race teams recognize St. Louis as one of the top spots on tour now and it starts with the complete team we have in the area.
“The people at World Wide Technology Raceway have done an incredible job with the track,” said Chuck Wallis, vice president and general manager of Bommarito Automotive Group. “We market it hard; work hard at it. It’s a great event. A family event.”
Race weekend begins August 23 with practice and qualifying. Racing starts August 24. For exclusive hospitality ticket information, go to bommarito.com. For general ticket information, visit go to wwtraceway.com.