Indianapolis 500

Longtime residents of town of Speedway react to IMS sale

Longtime fans react to sale of Indianapolis Motor Speedway

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Reaction to the sale of Indianapolis Motor Speedway — excitement, sadness and surprise — poured in from all corners of the world.

In the town that holds the track, Carol Dykes bought a house 26 years ago “so that I could be close to the track.” The pagoda, a glass and steel tower equal to a 13-story building on the start-finish line, rises not far from her backyard.

“I love looking out the kitchen window every morning and getting to see the pagoda.”

Dykes also keeps a collection of Indianapolis Motor Speedway memorabilia, including a few items of her favorite driver Ed Carpenter. “I was so lucky to get a couple cards signed buy him,” Dykes said.

She expressed sadness that the Hulman-George family, which owned and operated the speedway since 1945, will be leaving. Billionaire Roger Penske’s company, Penske Entertainment, plans to buy the iconic speedway from the family.

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“When you think of Indy, you think of Hulman. I know Penske will do a great job,” Dykes said. “He’s such a great business person anyway. But, it’s just sad to think after so many years, an era has ended and now we’re going to start something new.”

“I hope that the motorcycles come back.” Dykes added. “That was a lot of fun.”

The MotoAmerica Series will return to IMS from Aug. 21-23 after a five-year absence.

She also said she’d love to see the RedBull Air Race, which was canceled this year, and the hot air balloon races return to the speedway under the new ownership. The speedway opened June 5, 1909, with a hot air balloon race.

Andrew Nelson, who has lived in the town of Speedway for more than 50 years, said, “Penske, in very real terms, is a good fit. It’s not just his history here, but he cares enough about the race to keep things going. I think that’s what a place like this needs.”

Danny Wilson, who has lived hear the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1973, said “I don’t see a problem with that. Penske, he’s known to be into racing all his life.”