IndyCar proving a hot ticket at Road America

IndyCar’s stop at Road America has been among the highlights on the annual calendar, and with a 25-percent increase in ticket sales leading into this weekend’s event, track president Mike Kertscher is feeling rosy about the series’ growth in popularity.

“Camping is up too, which is a great indicator; we’re using areas that we haven’t used ever for camping,” Kertscher told RACER. “We have an overflow area out here and a few other areas we continue to develop as campsites. Ticket sales are really good and our season pass sales are healthy as well, which is a good sign because people are embracing our content. And they’re coming more frequently, bringing their families with them.

“The paddock looks good. We have more Indy cars on the grid than we’ve had in a long time and Indy Lights even has a few more, which is really good to see. There’s a lot of racing going on here and it’s all good to see.”

Kertscher offered more encouraging news as demographic information gleaned from Road America’s attendees point to a rise in new and younger fans of motor racing.

“Even through COVID, we were pretty fortunate of all the tracks in the country because we were able to operate and we were blessed in many ways,” he said. “It exposed us to a lot of new people that we’d never had seen here before, because there just wasn’t anything in-market for entertainment opportunities for these folks. They were looking to get out, looking to do something, and I think that helped.

“That definitely grew our camping base. But then, last year, we saw those new people return, and our diehard race fans come back as well on last year was just a perfect storm. I think we’re still riding the ride that wave here this year. Our demographics, they are getting a bit younger, which is good to see.”