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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Indy 500 Approaching Record Numbers As Race Nears

  • Race could see second-largest crowd this century.
  • IndyCar Series has been thriving since Roger Penske's 2019 purchase.
The Indianapolis Star

This year’s Indianapolis 500 is set to draw its second-largest crowd this century. 

“We will be pushing the 325,000 range,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles told Forbes. The record still belongs to the historic 100th running of the race in 2016, which drew 350,000 fans.

This latest predicted number would equal last year’s race, which was the first to run at full capacity post-pandemic after operating at 40% in 2021 and no fans in 2020.

As of Thursday afternoon, 230,000 tickets had already been sold for Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which has a permanent capacity of just over 257,000, in addition to tens of thousands more who can fit in the racetrack’s infield.

“It will feel like what an Indianapolis 500 should feel like,” Boles told the Indianapolis Star.

Roger Penske has been working to revamp the IndyCar Series — and its flagship event — since purchasing the series and iconic racetrack in 2019.

The sport appears to be in a healthy spot, with NTT Data this year re-upping as title sponsor of the IndyCar Series, which is in the midst of a multiyear media rights deal with NBC Sports. IndyCar also expanded its international broadcast coverage to 223 markets in 142 countries this year.

Southern Comfort

The motorsports-heavy weekend will be capped Sunday night by NASCAR’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway — where Michael Jordan’s 23XI race team will outfit driver Bubba Wallace with a Carolina blue, Jumpman-themed No. 45 car.

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