Buoyant IndyCar geared up for challenge ahead
By Steve Keating
INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Super-charged by the success of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, IndyCar sped into a new era on Sunday but the road ahead is an uncertain one for both the series and the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".
Watched by a sun-kissed sell-out crowd of close to 400,000, who helped pump an estimated $350 million into the local economy, and topped off by an American winner to highlight a Memorial Day holiday weekend, this year's Indy 500 was by at all levels an unmitigated high-octane success.
But what next for the iconic 107-year-old Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and the IndyCar series that has the 500 as its crown jewel?
Back in the headlines and giddy at that sight of packed grandstands, IndyCar officials, racers and team owners gushed about the 100th race providing a launch pad that would propel the sport into a new orbit.
Others were less excited, viewing Sunday's extravaganza as a one-hit wonder, something to be crossed off the sporting bucket list.
"This is the beginning of a great era in IndyCar racing for Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said 2014 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.
"We are moving forward, the momentum is going in the right direction, the racing is the best on track product you can find anywhere in the world.
"This is a true drivers' championships and the Indianapolis 500 is a big part of that. The future is very bright here." Continued...