MADISON, Ill. – The family-friendly Bommarito Automotive Group 500 is expected to be a sellout.
The Bommarito 500 has become one of IndyCar’s most attended races in just three short years. It has quickly gained the reputation of being one of IndyCar’s favorite stops, with the track, unique design, energy from fans, and party atmosphere.
“This race and the way we promote it, it’s elevating the IndyCar brand. And when you can position the Bommarito brand and World Wide Technology Raceway brand with that, you have a recipe for success,” said John Bommarito, president of the Bommarito Automotive Group
The race is providing a big financial punch for the St. Louis region, with an estimated economic impact of around $45 million.
Curtis Francois, owner of the World Wide Technology Raceway, can’t wait for this weekend.
“This is more than just a race; it’s a big event. It’s family-friendly. Bring the kids out and you're going to make a memory. This is a big event—once a year—and you need to be a part of it.”
The Stanley Cup will be on-hand, too, as St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo and defenseman Colton Parayko attend the race. Parayko will also serve as the race’s grand marshal. And Charles Glenn will be on hand to wow the crowd with the singing of the national anthem.
“When you come to St. Louis, drivers tell you it's one of their favorite places,” said Chuck Wallis, Vice President and General Manager of the Bommarito Automotive Group. “The enthusiasm is electric here race day.
“You got world-class racing right here at World Wide Technology Raceway. It's going to be an incredible weekend.”
Gates open Friday and fans can see the NTT IndyCar Series practice and qualifying, plus Indy Pro and Indy Lights practice and qualifying. All the races take place Saturday.
“We try to show the whole experience from the time you get here to the time you leave,” said Chris Blair, Executive Vice President and General Manager of World Wide Technology Raceway. “From driver autograph sessions in the afternoon to additional racing we have, and then when it comes time for the pre-race we have BeBe Winans performing, flyovers, skydivers, we have fireworks and pyro. We do it all.”
There will be a lot of activates geared for kids and much of it will be robotics and driving simulators.
“It’s absolutely exciting. The revving of the engines, the electricity of the crowd. When you get a venue like this, you're on one of the best ovals on tour, it’s amazing,” Bommarito said.
“We will have millions of people watching on TV in over 30 countries, but if you're near the race track, you’re going to want to be here.”
“There's so much going on that day. You can come out at 1 (p.m.) or 2 (p.m.) and see multiple races leading up to the big one, come on out at 4 (p.m.) or 5 (p.m.) and see the midway and go straight to the race,” Francois said.