How IMS owner Roger Penske is changing the Indy 500 fan experience

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Beth Paretta, Simona De Silvestro and a co-ed crew comprising about 75% women aim to inspire a new generation of people underrepresented in racing.

Indianapolis Star

Outside the 10,000 fans who got to walk portions of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway grounds and sit along the front-stretch each day last fall for the Harvest Grand Prix, this month marks the first time race folks will have had a chance to lay eyes on Roger Penske’s $20 million worth of renovations since he officially took over the facility in January 2020.

Sunday, as many as 135,000 fans will be allowed to enter the track.

Some changes will hit you immediately, like the 104-feet by 20-feet video board on the back of the Pagoda or the repainted Turn 2 suites. Others, like the thousands of square-feet of new fencing and freshly-paved asphalt and thousands of cans of paint, merely blend into the rest of the meticulousness Penske has instilled.

Here’s a list of many of the improvements that have taken place around IMS during Penske’s tenure.

Roger Penske said he’s spent nearly $15 million renovating the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since he took ownership in January. IndyStar got a sneak peak of the facilities. (Photo: Courtesy of IMS)

Indianapolis Motor Speedway touch-ups

► 4,000 cans of paint across the facility (as of last July … many more have undoubtedly followed since) including the Turn 2 Suites and tunnel walls

► 25,000 linear square feet of new fencing – nearly two laps around the oval worth

► 400,000 square feet of newly-paved asphalt, along with restriped parking spaces and additional handicapped spots

► More than three acres of new sod

► New flags at every entrance and exit point

► Bold, fresh logos and signage for concession stands, bathrooms and directions

► Power-washed IMS Museum with a newly-fixed fountain

► Well-lit Gates 1 and 2

► New picnic tables throughout the facility

► Newly-planted trees inside and outside the gates, including ones transplanted that used to sit between Turns 1 and 2 to improve the sightlines

More on Roger Penske’s renovations:

Technology updates at IMS

► A 104×20-foot video board on the back of the Pagoda that will air on-track action, as well as in-depth data points for various cars on-track and other racing action when cars aren’t running at IMS

► 5G cellular data speeds from Verizon

► Ribbon boards to show the running order on all seven infield big-screen monitors

► More than 20 new video boards along the paddock seating area to give fans an additional view of the on-track action

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[email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @By_NathanBrown.

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Friday July 8, 2022