MADISON, Ill. – World Wide Technology Raceway is providing quite the economic and entertainment punch for our area and things could get better if Worldwide gets a NASCAR Cup race, which is now possible due to the huge success of the IndyCar Bommarito Automotive Group 500.
“Every day I wake up, my goal, when I get out of bed, is to move the ball farther in trying to get us a NASCAR Cup race,” said Chris Blair, general manager and executive vice president of the World Wide Technology Raceway.
NASCAR officials are watching, Blair says, and believing in St. Louis after seeing the success of the Bommarito 500.
“Working with Maryville University and other groups focusing on economic impact studies, our IndyCar race weekend has an impact of $50 million,” he said.
Also helping the cause – “Race” magazine just ranked the Bommarito 500 a top 5 race last season for competitiveness and entertainment value for the fans.
IndyCar President Jay Frye also says the Bommarito 500 scored as the highest race they have had since they started measuring.
“He said, ‘Guys, you guys had the best race as a measuring stick moving forward, for spectacular races,’” Blair said.
World Wide Technology Raceway has over 300 events days a year now. This year they're combining the NASCAR Truck Series race with the IndyCar race weekend, making it an even larger race weekend. And NASCAR officials will be keeping a close eye.
“We're really close. We have to show NASCAR and the racing industry that St. Louis is a racing town,” Blair said.
A NASCAR week in St. Louis could have an estimated economic impact of $75 million to $100 million, Blair says. The new development in downtown St. Louis is also helping people from out of town get excited about spending time and money at races.
“Everybody wins when a race comes to town,” he said.