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2012 Super Weekend At The Brickyard Press Conference, Teleconference Transcript

 

 
2012 SUPER WEEKEND AT THE BRICKYARD
PRESS CONFERENCE/TELECONFERENCE
July 6, 2011, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
 
PRESS CONFERENCE
Greg Ballard, Jeff Belskus, Mike Helton,
Tom Bledsoe, Carl Edwards, Scott Pruett,
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Wayne Taylor, David Donohue
 
MODERATOR: Good afternoon, and welcome to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. My name is Vince Welch from ESPN and certainly thrilled to be here today as part of this major announcement and the upcoming events for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2012 being dubbed a Super Weekend. I think you'll certainly all agree with me as we unveil all the exciting announcements that are going to be made here this afternoon.
 
I've lived in Indianapolis all my life, and I still get excited about driving through the gates here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to come to an event, whether there are cars on the track or if it's just an announcement. This obviously is not just any other announcement. It has been a special year here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as we recently celebrated the Centennial anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 and more great events to come as we look forward to the Brickyard 400 this summer, and what we're here to talk about today, the Super Weekend in 2012 in association with the Brickyard 400.
 
At this time, we've got many dignitaries we're going to hear from today and special guests. But at this time I would like to introduce the Mayor of Indianapolis, Mr. Greg Ballard. (Applause)
 
GREG BALLARD: Thank you, everybody, for coming. It's always good to come back to the Brickyard. It's another beautiful day, and this is kind of like Race Day for us. But it always is in Indianapolis, rain or shine, and it does rain here occasionally as we've known. But because we are the world capital of auto racing, we take that moniker seriously.
 
2012 will mark the 19th running of this race. Now it's really exciting to see what's going to happen in 2012. As you probably know, racing is a real source of pride in this city for everyone who calls this city home. It's in our blood, it's who we are. Indianapolis has long played host to a lot of national events right here at this track. But today's announcement is something special, not just for race fans around the country and around the world, but for all of Indianapolis businesses alike. It provides all of this new on-track activity in 2012, coupled with what we consider to be a great downtown experience, including the hotels and restaurants and cultural activities that few racing cities can claim. It's the combination of the track and our downtown, I think, that makes it a very special destination for people.
 
So because this is such a destination event that's going to start to happen in 2012, it's so special because racing is an important economic engine in our city, also. It provides so many hundreds of millions of dollars to our local economy each year because of this track. We are very proud of that and the fact we have such a long relationship with the Speedway. This extended racing weekend will have a great positive impact on local tourism, as we know, in addition to providing the city great national exposure, even more so.
 
So I want to congratulate IMS and NASCAR and GRAND-AM on this great announcement and welcome to all the fans once again to our great city where racing is who we are. We love coming to the track as much as possible. Now we just add to it once again to the luster of this beautiful, beautiful facility.
 
Thank you, everybody, for coming out today. I appreciate it very much. (Applause)
 
MODERATOR: Thank you, Mayor.
 
Now let's begin to meet the stars that we will be enjoying on race weekend, that special Super Weekend of 2012. I encourage you to keep your eye on Turn 4 as they make their way toward the start/finish line and the Yard of Bricks here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
 
The Pace Car and a GRAND-AM, Nationwide and Cup race cars raced toward the start-finish line. (Applause)
 
MODERATOR: I have to find out how difficult it was for these guys to not race one another down the start-finish line.
 
Let's introduce Jeff Belskus. Jeff is the CEO and president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation. Jeff, good afternoon. I'll ask you to step to the podium for the photographers and congratulations on what a wonderful announcement being made here today. What does it mean to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to have a Super Weekend of 2012?
 
JEFF BELSKUS: This is a very important announcement for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We're excited to have Nationwide and GRAND-AM added to our Brickyard 400 weekend. Really adds a lot of good content and good racing for our fans. It's going to make for just a really exciting weekend.
 
MODERATOR: After the growth that we saw at the Indianapolis 500 and the Centennial celebration in May, now as we l
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