Ind. governor signs $100M Speedway funding bill

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has signed a bill that will provide a $100 million state loan to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for planned improvements.

Pence had earlier expressed concerns about the funding plan for the home of IndyCar's Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Brickyard 400. But after signing the measure Friday he said in a statement that the Speedway loan is a state investment that "will further economic development in the motorsports industry while also protecting the interests of Hoosier taxpayers."

He also said the Speedway has contributed to Indiana's economy for more than a century and has enhanced the state's "global reputation."

The law will direct growth in sales and income tax collections from the track and a new ticket fee toward paying off the loan over 20 years.

This year's Indianapolis 500 has an old-school feel.

For the first time since 1987, two drivers -- Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti -- are likely to be chasing their fourth Indy win on May 26.

And for the first time they've run a full-season IndyCar schedule since 1991, Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi will begin Saturday's opening day practice without a win in their pocket.

Everyone seems to have a chance -- from Takuma Sato, who crashed trying to pass Franchitti for the lead on the last lap in 2012, to Marco Andretti, who is still trying to put an end to the family hex.

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