MADISON, Ill. – The second annual Enjoy Illinois 300 was once again sold out as fans watched the race on Sunday, its success driving up sales, and in return the local economy.
“It’s definitely improved this year over last year, so it’s going in the right direction,” said one fan.
The event drew fans not only from the Lincoln state, but the St. Louis region, and other Midwest areas.
“It’s like two and a half hours,” one fan shared.
“Indiana – little over 3 hours,” another fan explained.
In total, 39 U.S. States and 10 countries, all descended upon the WorldWide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.
Visitors turning the Raceway into a pilgrimage, with some camping out for days.
“You can see the track easier here, the race is better – kind of got that hometown track feel and thought the action was great last year and thought I had to come back,” said Enjoy Illinois fan, Mason Cleary.
“It’s just the whole experience, there’s just so many things to do – so much food, just lots of stuff to do, it’s unlike any other event I think,” Enjoy Illinois 300 attendant, Sydney Matheney revealed.
Their passion spilled over from the race into money spent at the racetrack with food, drinks, and merchandise but also around the area. Pumping over $60 million into the local economy.
“We’re close to historic Route 66, you can go visit the world’s largest ketchup bottle in Collinsville, Illinois, you can go to the Cahokia mounds, the state historic site,” said Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic development, Kristin Richards. “So many things to go and see and do while you’re here.”
Locals rooting for it all.
“To see something this big come to our area and after losing, said Enjoy Illinois 300 fan and St. Louis local, Jeff Sulmar. “I’m old – football, Cardinals, Rams again – it’s nice to see something big come back, and I hope the people come back.”
Many fans say they’ve already made plans to visit again next year, revving up for lap 3.