INDYCAR MEDIA CONFERENCE
March 7, 2022
THE MODERATOR: Good morning, everyone. Great to see you. Announced earlier this morning an incredible entertainment lineup for July 23rd and 24th, the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend At Iowa Speedway. Great collection of talents, the likes of which are only reserved for premier music festivals, four of the biggest acts in entertainment all performing over the course of two days.
On the 23rd, three-time Grammy award winning country music superstar Tim McGraw will host a pre-race concert, while the Billboard record-holding country music duo, Florida Georgia Line, will perform later that afternoon following the first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race of the weekend.
On Sunday, July 24th, three-time Grammy award winner, Gwen Stefani will be onstage. To close the weekend nine-time Grammy nominated country music star Blake Shelton will host a concert following the second NTT INDYCAR SERIES race of the week.
The lineup really will deliver incredible entertainment value for fans as the pre-race concerts will be 50 minutes in length followed by post race concerts in excess of 90 minutes or so. Concerts are included with each race day ticket for the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend.
We are joined by Randy Edeker, chairman and CEO of Hy-Vee, Bud Denker, president of the Penske Corporation, and Graham Rahal.
Randy, let's begin with you. Hy-Vee has been fully invested in bringing INDYCAR back to Iowa not only as the title sponsor of the race but the promotions and experiences for fans. Why was it important to help deliver an incredible lineup of great music for this event to go along with world class racing?
RANDY EDEKER: Well, our own strategy is invested heavily in INDYCAR. We believe that having a race in Iowa, it kind of kills two birds with one stone. It was really trying to help the city of Newton to create a distinctional event. We knew we wanted to pack it with to lot of talent, especially with our inaugural year, to set the stage for our race.
We have a back-to-back doubleheader. We think that's also exciting. We just wanted to get people to Newton to have them experience a great race and also experience our state. The state of Iowa has a lot going on for it right now. There's a lot of growth in the state. We just think it's a great way to invest for our company, a great way to invest in our brand, to keep our brand out there.
We think the talent is going to set the tone for the type of race that we want to have for days to come.
THE MODERATOR: You actually unveiled the music lineup on Saturday night at a special charity event in Des Moines. Who was the special guest, Mark Wahlberg?
RANDY EDEKER: Mark is a good friend of Hy-Vee. We have several businesses we partner with Mark in. He asked me a few weeks ago if we would host a premier for him. We got it set up.
We had I'm guessing about 800 people in the conference room. We brought the 45 car in, had it in the middle of the room, so we could make an announcement about our entertainment. It was an electric event. Not to mention then we had a tornado drill in the middle of it.
All in all we had a great attendance. Bud Denker was here. Our driver, Jack Harvey, was in attendance. It was a great event. We had several of the Chiefs' players, Vikings. We had a great event. We raised some money for charity, about $150,000 in charity, then we made the announcement. The rest is history. It was a great night for Hy-Vee.
THE MODERATOR: Bud, we've seen a successful blend of music and INDYCAR racing before, certainly most recently at the Indianapolis 500, the Music City Grand Prix in Nashville. Is this a new approach for the events hosted at Iowa Speedway? How is this premier entertainment lineup for the race weekend different from what we've seen before that?
BUD DENKER: First of all, we're so excited to get back to Iowa Speedway. As you know we did not race there in 2021. Now to be back again in 2022 with two races, the only doubleheader on our entire INDYCAR schedule, is very important for us.
Graham can talk about the kind of racing that happens at the Speedway, but most competitive racing of any track we go to across North America.
We partnered with Hy-Vee. I've known Randy now for about a year, what I've discovered from Randy and the Hy-Vee team is when they do something, they do it big, they do it right, they do it massively successful. We are looking forward to putting on an event, not just a race for that entire weekend.
To think about these four acts. Normally you'd fill up a stadium or arena with one of these acts for one evening. We're going to have four Class A entertainers at the Iowa Speedway pre-race, post race that entire weekend. It is going to be a massive weekend for us. I'm looking for huge ticket sales today as a result of this.
We only have about 12,000 to 15,000 tickets to sell each day because ticket sales have been pretty good so far. I've never seen anything like it. I've never seen a lineup like this before. I've been in motorsports for a long time. To see what they have for that weekend in Iowa, Newton, you can't get a hotel. Good luck anywhere around the area. Some people ahead of time must have known about this so already secured all the hotels, which is a good thing.
It going to be a massive event. We're very excited about it. It adds to the excitement for the INDYCAR SERIES. I have to credit it all back to Randy and his team at Hy-Vee for making it happen. We're happy to come back here, but to have a partner like Hy-Vee, I've never seen this before in my career to have this type of entertainment.
THE MODERATOR: Graham, from a driver's perspective, how excited are you to add to this level off-track entertainment, doubleheader weekend, stellar racing at Iowa, potentially help welcome in some new fans?
GRAHAM RAHAL: Yeah, for me this is pretty special. I think a lot of people likely remember this, but two years ago finishing on the podium in the Hy-Vee car is where this all began. The relationship with Randy, with Donna, Matt, a lot of folks over there quickly expanded.
I remember sitting in a meeting with Randy when we were pitching him to come onboard in a bigger way and potentially even full season. One of his first questions was, Are you racing at Iowa next year? When we said no, I could immediately see the wheels turning.
It was probably three months, four months after that I ran into Bud and Roger in the parking lot at the Speedway. I said, Hey, I think you guys should talk to dad. Dad needs to connect you and Randy and see if we can do something.
On a personal level, on a team level, it's amazing, as Bud said, not only to see Hy-Vee do this, but with our experience, what they've done with the race team. As Bud said when Hy-Vee jumps in, they jump in. Whether it's the commercials with Jack, You Don't Know Jack. All the stuff they've done has been tremendous. This is the icing on top.
When it comes to Iowa, I told Randy this at the time, I think it puts on the best racing of probably anywhere that we go to frankly. From a driver's perspective, it's a major challenge. The tire degradation is a challenge. Doubleheader is going to be as well.
For me, I think it puts on a tremendous race. I think a lot of fans, the purists, knew that already. This opens your eyes to a fan base that has likely never seen anything like this, an event like this.
To have these four acts, Bud mentioned the hotels, but don't forget Iowa is a tremendous track to camp at. The visibility around Iowa, if you camp on the back straight, you're in turns three or four, you can see it all. The way it's built down into the ground, tremendous facility for people to come and camp.
I'm looking forward to see it. I'm a little bit jealous that I'm not going to be able to partake in all of the activities I suppose with the race coming up and all that (smiling).
But this is extremely, extremely cool for Hy-Vee to be able to do this and have this influence. They're so well-respected in their community, I'm really excited to see Hy-Vee come here to Indianapolis, in Zionsville, where the location is going to be, a slam-dunk, so thanks to Randy for that.
It been an honor for me to be with Hy-Vee since the beginning. Great to see the growth of Jack. I think now fans will see how great of a company they are, the commitment to excellence that they have.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open up things for questions.
Q. Mr. Edeker, how does a sponsorship go from I believe it was the second race of a doubleheader held during a pandemic with a limited crowd, so you don't really get a chance to see the full response of that sponsorship, how does it go from that to being all in like Hy-Vee has become with INDYCAR in such a short period of time?
RANDY EDEKER: Well, I think the perfect fit is that the fits our strategy, it fits a digital strategy that we're working on. You see that on the car with Hy-VeeDeals.com. That's a strategy we're working with a nationwide ship-to-home strategy.
We see that working through frankly our partnership with NBC Sports, a giveaway we're doing across every single week across the country.
I see it in a partnership with Roger Penske and with Bud Denker, just looking at their strategy overall for INDYCAR, the growth of INDYCAR, how they want to grow the sport.
We look at it like this: we feel like we've joined INDYCAR at the right time. INDYCAR has a long history. I've looked at the long history. I feel like we're on the cusp of something much bigger. I think the sport is going to take off. We're investing in that possibility. We believe that we wanted to be a part of it. That's why we made the investment.
The race is hugely important to us. I think it's going to be very good. The event for us is to really have a signature event here in our state, help our state. We are in eight other states. We're going to be in a total of 13 states over the next several years as we expand.
But Iowa is super important to us. We wanted to invest in the track. That's why we went all in. We think we're on the cusp of Indy really starting to grow with some of the strategies they have and we wanted to invest in it now and be on the cutting edge of that moving forward.
Q. How many Hy-Vee customers, partners, are you going to take to the Indianapolis 500 which I'm sure Indiana is a market you one day want to bring your stories into?
RANDY EDEKER: We've already announced in Indianapolis. We have two sites right now in Indianapolis. That's why we're investing looking at the 500 and working with our marketing folks around the state of Indiana. We've also announced in Louisville, Kentucky, and Nashville, Tennessee, so you'll see us as a sponsor of the Music City race also.
We just see this as a great aspect for us to grow. We're obviously involved in a lot of other sports, in the NFL and the NBA and the NHL. We feel like Indy is a good spot for us to invest, a good chance to grow with the sport.
Q. A lot of times people say why can't we have the same vibe at a short track as we do at a street race. This model seems to be taking that street race model concept of entertainment to the short tracks.
BUD DENKER: You're absolutely right. These are the kind of events -- I go back to the word 'event' versus 'races' that we have in this series. Urban markets we know are so important for us. When you think about what we're going to do at the Iowa Speedway right now with two races, this kind of secular motion of entertainment involved. Graham said it, think about the number of fans we're going to have at this event who have never been to a race before because they're coming for a different reason, to see entertainment. By the way, there's a world class event going on.
Hy-Vee has been around since 1930. 1930. They are a pillar in their community. One thing I do want to mention is the Sunday race is going to be the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers. It's one more example about how they bring back and give back to the community. We expect to have a lot of people there from the farming industry, which is so pivotal to the state of Iowa, that surrounding states area.
They give back in many ways. This event is one more example of giving back. As a result of these entertainers, the race will be put on like we haven't seen before. I was out there Saturday. My question to the team out there was, Where are we going to park everybody? There hasn't been an event at the Iowa Speedway in about 15 years when Nationwide went there originally when they filled up all of the surrounding parking lots. Now we're going to do that again because of the help of Hy-Vee.
GRAHAM RAHAL: I think to follow what Bud said, it's a tremendous thing. Again, when I sat down with Randy and Donna and Matt from Hy-Vee I don't know, what, 16 months ago, it's been awhile. They were very curious about what makes a great event special, what makes it tick, why are street races so popular. It's all about the event, all about the surroundings and things that can go on beyond that.
I think if you look at the success of Nashville, you look at the success of Long Beach, there's so much going on. If you look at places that we always put on great races that didn't have success, and this certainly isn't a shot at any of them because I love them. Kentucky, for instance. Great race all the time, but people want to see more than just a race. Yes, the race attracts them, but it's all of the our aspects that keep them going.
To me, too, racing is a great, great family environment. To keep kids occupied, as a new dad I fully understand and appreciate this. But to keep people entertained for a full day or a full weekend of oval racing. The race is the highlight, right? People do come to see that. But there's always a lot of dead time between practice and qualifying, particularly on a two-day show.
In this case people are going to have something continuously whether it's the doubleheader or the four music acts, practice, qualifying. That's what fans want.
I'm extremely excited to see this. As I said, I've had some success at Iowa. I haven't won there. Close a couple times. I certainly can't wait to go back and put the combination of what I think is probably the best short track oval racing around, across all types of racing, and combine that with what Hy-Vee has done here with the music.
I think it's a slam-dunk. I also think it's a formula for going forward. I think Randy is right in that. I feel like Hy-Vee is getting in at the beginning stages of this. I've been in this sport a long time. Beyond driving in this sport, I'm a fan of this sport. Someday I'll be an owner in this sport, I'm invested in this. TV ratings, NBC's commitment, it's going in the right direction. You combine that with Hy-Vee, other partners, PeopleReady, the Force For Good Challenges, United Rental, their commitment. There's a lot of good things happening in the sport right now. I think they're on the leading edge of it.
THE MODERATOR: Presenting sponsors were recently named, too. Saturday, the Hy-VeeDeals.com 250 presented by DoorDash. The race Sunday, July 24th, Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google.
Q. Bud, you mentioned several thousand tickets to sell for both days still. How strategic were you in terms of selecting these four recording artists in hoping to juice the ticket sales a little bit? Did you look at it as a way of encouraging more attendance?
BUD DENKER: The Hy-Vee folks were the folks behind the selection. We obviously were involved on the peripheral of that.
I think we wanted to ensure that we had -- looking at our demographics, looking at the folks who camp there all the time, who come to the event, looking at the surrounding talent that are going to be at events at other times, we didn't want to compete with that.
The number one thing is the Hy-Vee folks worked with Live Nation to find acts that were absolutely A list. Think about it, Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton. They don't get any bigger.
I was at the NASCAR race for the Daytona 500, Luke Combs was there, great entertainer, I think he may have sang three or four songs.
We're going to have two 50-minute acts and two-90 minute acts. Something we haven't seen before, experienced before, but as Graham mentioned a model we want to take to other places as we grow. Strategically as we own the series now, urban markets, but markets like this with the partner like Hy-Vee.
Think about this, Hy-Vee brought partners like DoorDash and Google into this sport. We haven't had them before. You can't look at that lightly because that's also bringing new partners into our sport we haven't had because of the way they do business. We're very happy with the kind of A list entertainment Hy-Vee was able to select.
Q. Randy, you played a critical role in selecting these acts. Your methodology for it?
RANDY EDEKER: The methodology was frankly as we started working with Live Nation, What are the biggest acts you have? That's how I started working, trying to have a bit of a good mix. We obviously leaned a little more to the country side. But we just tried to look at the biggest acts they had available.
Also the Iowa State Fair is just a few weeks later. They have big talent that comes to that. We coordinated a bit with them to make sure we didn't double up on anyone. These were the four acts that we felt they're the biggest names we could get.
Then the interest of having Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton sing the same day is exciting. That brings an extra added element to it. Really wasn't a deep amount of science. Give me the four biggest acts that you have that are going to help us fill the seats.
We think that it is a way to introduce Indy racing to a whole new group of people that have never seen it. That's what we're about here.
It's not my job to grow Indy. But as a partner it is part of my job to help grow Indy with having a car invested in partner with Bobby and with Graham and the whole group at RLL who have been phenomenal, by the way. They built our faith in the sport because of their business dealings, how they go about their job. They've built the belief in us to be able to run into this event.
It wasn't really scientific. We're going to have a big event. I had a distinct challenge from the governor of the state of Iowa to build back the track in Newton. We've honored that. We have invested in that. We believe that Newton is one of our towns that needs a shot in the arm, a boost. We feel this is a good way to do it.
We're not looking at it as the first year, we're looking at the second year and the third year. We believe this is how you build an event. We can launch it. It can kick the door open. We'll have a great event and come back next year and see how we build on that.
Q. Bud, is INDYCAR expecting projections on how many people will be attending an INDYCAR race for the first time?
BUD DENKER: That's a good question. We will track that absolutely. Our ticketing operations at the IMS are doing the ticketing operations for this event so we can bring it together and understand that better than we could before when NASCAR was doing that. We brought that in-house now, so we are doing all the ticketing operations, marketing operations, within IMS and INDYCAR.
I'll be curious to see the people that buy the tickets, the number that buy the tickets. We have a limiter out there, so you can't buy a hundred tickets and scalp them. These acts are so big. You pay $200 to see one of these acts at an arena let alone to have a race and two concerts.
We hope to sell it out very soon. I haven't gotten any numbers yet based upon the announcement. When you think about it, the grandstands hold 24,000 people plus the suites. Hy-Vee is going to be building temporary structures around turns one and two, and three and four as well. We have a lot of camping. In the early 2000s when they had the first Nationwide race there, they had 40,000 people there. That maxed it out. I'm hoping to get to those numbers as well this time around.
Q. Graham, there was recently a race in which they had a halftime show that Ice Cube played. Do you think INDYCAR drivers would be part of that, a halftime show, interruption of the race to have some music?
GRAHAM RAHAL: I'll let Bud and Randy figure that out.
The purist in me, I like when the race starts that we aim towards the completion. I will say that I do tip my cap to NASCAR in recent times for stepping out and trying different things. Whether they're successful or not, whether they're liked by all or not, we're in a period of time that we do need to branch out, we need to try.
But I also think that just honestly the purity of INDYCAR racing resounds with race fans, not having stages and all of this stuff. It's the first man or woman to the finish line is the winner. That's the way it is.
The championship, what I like there is no Playoffs. The best man or woman over the season is your champion. It doesn't reset at any stage. I'm a purist in that.
I also think that resounds well with racing fans. You combine the racing fan with acts like this, promoters like Hy-Vee, Bud, Roger, those guys, Greg Penske who I love, a lot of energy there to keep this thing going down the right path.
You combine all of those pieces with, as I said, companies like Hy-Vee. I've been in a lot of sponsor meetings over the years. I've done a lot of stuff. A sponsor goes, I'll give you X amount of dollars, what am I going to get?
You're only going to get as much as you put into it. If you don't promote, aren't active, take it seriously, the truth is you're going to get very little. Hy-Vee is an example of somebody that came into the sport, is going to change the sport, make a massive difference. To me that's enough. Getting companies like that will move the needle more than a halftime show or something like that.
Again, I'm all into trying new things. Tip the cap to NASCAR because I do think we're in a period where sometimes branching out can give a great return at this stage.
I'll leave it to them to decide where this goes in the future (smiling).
Q. Graham, I believe the last time INDYCAR was at Iowa the races were contested at night. These will be primarily during the day. Will that change the calculus of the racing or the dynamics at all?
GRAHAM RAHAL: We've always gone back and forth between night races and sort of day-ish races.
The thing is both are good races because it's such a demanding track, whether it's hot on the surface or a night race where it cools down. I mean, certainly the night race I would say broadens the amount of competitive cars, meaning at Iowa you're going to have the talent pool deeper and deeper. You'll have 10 to 15 cars that are battling at the end. At night that may expand by 20% or something like that.
The truth is with the variety of lanes, you have three lanes, turn three and four is a two-lane racetrack, but you have cars all over the place, guys on new tires, guys on old tires that want to go home, forget about their day. That's common at Iowa. I think that will continue.
I don't think it really matters day or night, frankly. I think it always puts on a heck of a show for sure.
THE MODERATOR: Randy, what does this mean for the state of Iowa, helping the farmers?
RANDY EDEKER: I mean, the first race, the DoorDash, we're working with underprivileged kids. We're working with several groups across the state to bring kids that have never attended an INDYCAR event. They really don't have any access. So we're going to help bus them in, bring them in with some other charities as a part of that to have we're shooting for 500 to a thousand kids that get to attend the event that day.
Then on Sunday, the Salute to Farmers, sponsored by Google, we're looking at the core of our farmers. They've been through a lot. Obviously in the food industry, we wanted to sponsor farmers across the state. We've offered up a thousand tickets to farmers to attend free that day, to be a part of the event.
We've got a lot planned around that. We have a food truck village with 75 food trucks that are going to be out there feeding people. A lot of other activities around the grounds to keep everybody, one, fed and engaged and focused, and celebrate the entire state.
I think that's what it's going to mean to the state. It's a big event right in the middle of the state that can draw from all across the state and other states surrounding. We think it will be a great way to showcase our state, our company and the track.
Q. Bud, do you think the festival atmosphere you're creating here is a model that will allow success at other ovals and attract newer ovals to the series?
BUD DENKER: That's a real good question because we're already thinking about '23 and '24 in terms of what we're going to do.
We want to have a variety, always have a variety, as long as we own this series, of the races we have today, the ovals, short ovals, long ovals, road courses, street courses. That obviously shows the competitiveness and the world class nature of our drivers more than any other series in the world.
The model we're creating in the urban markets as you've seen in Nashville, Detroit next year, the streets of Detroit. Whole different model than we have on Belle Isle. Patterned a lot of what will be done in Nashville, St. Pete, other markets.
As we get to these markets like Iowa, you need to create that event. Without the attachment to an urban market, you have to have the event to draw you in. You're spot on in terms of what this model will look like. We want to take it and apply it to other tracks we go to in the future.
You also see unique tracks like Road America, it lives on its own. For these other tracks that are not attached to an urban market, don't have their own iconic nature, as Graham said you have to circle it with other things going on other than what's going on on the racetrack, and that's our model for the future.
Graham is pretty good here. 73% of all the times you raced at Iowa, you've been in the top 10. Waiting for that first one I know. The last one you got your podium. Jack is pretty good. Jack raced in 2020 and finished sixth both times. That Hy-Vee car should be looking good for you representation-wise coming up in the next year.
RANDY EDEKER: We hope so.
THE MODERATOR: Graham, good memories from Iowa last time you were there.
GRAHAM RAHAL: Yeah, like I said, I've always loved Iowa. It's a great track. I told Randy that when we first met. There's tracks that resound with the drivers, tracks that challenge you, places that you just definitely have had a lot more success than others and run up front a lot more than others.
Yeah, we haven't won there yet. But definitely have finished up front. I mean, that's where it all really began with Hy-Vee. Close family friend of ours, Tom (indiscernible), does some work with Hy-Vee. He was the introduction with Citrus Systems to bring this all together in the first place. We went out there, had some guest, did an appearance at the Hy-Vee in Newton, went out and got the car on the podium.
I thought we were going to have a chance to win it at the end. Kept battling it out with two of Bud's drivers, came up short. A heck of a race. I'm excited to go back. I'm excited to see the promotion.
I know we've all been talking about it, but I can't say enough about it. Growing up around the sport and everything else, the races that I always remember the most are events like this. Everybody that needs to convince the family to go to a race that weekend now has a great excuse to make it happen. Looking forward to it.
THE MODERATOR: Bud, the importance of having a great group like Hy-Vee that has roots in the community that's delivering an unforgettable experience for fans and promote the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, what a great example moving forward of what a company can do.
BUD DENKER: Randy touched on it. They don't just talk about it at Hy-Vee, they do it. Talk about the young children they're going to bring to the race on Saturday. Talked about the thousand folks in the farming community bringing to the race on Sunday. They wouldn't have had that chance if it wasn't for Hy-Vee.
I was in two Hy-Vee stores on Saturday, one in Newton and one on (indiscernible) Road. You would think it was an INDYCAR merchandise store in terms of how they deck things out with the merchandise they've put on display.
It all goes back to what I see in terms of the how the community responds to things. They are a key resource in this market. By the way, I think Randy, 93,000 employees now. It's a massive corporation. If you haven't been to a store, those of you in Indianapolis will get the opportunity soon in the next year or so to experience that.
But it's all about giving back. We try to get that in the INDYCAR community where we go, IMS for sure. You're going to see examples after that as well.
Randy mentioned, think about the fact of over 70 food trucks in one location for people to browse and sample and experience as well, too.
This is going to be an event that you haven't experienced before. I know all the press out here has been to a lot of INDYCAR races. When you come to Iowa that July weekend, you're going to see something you haven't seen before. We're so excited about that.
Thank you again, Randy, for you and all your folks at Hy-Vee. Graham, thanks for bringing it together. Without you, this introduction frankly would not have happened. We're very blessed by that and thankful. We can't wait.
Q. It was two years ago when we thought with everything being shut down, it was a terrible time to get involved with any type of sport. Now we keep hearing the term what a great time to get involved with INDYCAR racing. The dynamics of that are so opposite. What is it about INDYCAR racing that really kind of -- during the pandemic something clicked with corporate America that this is a good sport to get involved in?
RANDY EDEKER: I'll speak from Hy-Vee's standpoint. I think it fits with our initiatives, with what we want to get accomplished. I think that it's a sport that it's accessible to us and it's local.
If you look at the state of Iowa, I don't have the current numbers, but several years ago when I was over at marketing I looked at open-wheel racing in the state of Iowa. Per capita, Iowa had the largest number of open-wheel racing fans in the United States.
You look at the Midwest and the dirt tracks, the open-wheel races that happen all across. I think it just fits the fan base. Most of those fans, they turn to Indy, they turn to NASCAR, they also turn to Indy as an open-wheel racing fan. I think that's part of what appealed to us.
I agree, I just look at some of the things in talking with Bud and Roger, some of the strategies they have that they're working on. I believe you're going to see INDYCAR start driving. You're seeing us also invest in our driver. We came out with a dozen TV spots that we're going to be using from now until September that are labeled You Don't Know Jack. Jack is our spokesperson. We have the stealth black car. Jack is the spokesperson for much of what we're going to do. I think that's another shift that I believe is going to make a difference for Indy, is to build the drivers up.
We're also a sponsor, associate sponsor, of Graham and Christian. We're on both of their cars. We're excited about growing the sport with their persona and having them speak for us also.
Yeah, that's from my perspective. It's not the only thing that we're doing, but it's a big initiative that we have. I think it's going to pay off. The rest I'll leave to Bud.
BUD DENKER: I think you're seeing it. The numbers coming out of St. Pete are just a start to the season, terrific numbers, best numbers we've seen since 2011 in terms of viewership. If you were in St. Pete, you felt the buzz, the momentum going on.
We have sold a lot of tickets to the Indy 500 this year, numbers are strong, haven't announced the Carb Day situation going on yet.
Our promoters coming up in the next few races are very positive as well about it. We got a lot to do. We got a lot to build on. We've only owned this sport now for two years so we need a little time to build it.
We have to build it on the backs of partners like Hy-Vee. Can't do it all ourselves. This is a great example of what this looks like for the future, for this race but also future races as well.
THE MODERATOR: We'll leave it there for now. Our thanks to Randy Edeker, Bud Denker and Graham Rahal.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports