SPEEDWAY, Ind. — The Greatest Spectacle in Racing is working toward becoming the Greenest Spectacle in Racing. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) has several new and growing initiatives to help sustainability.
Since 2019, the track has added more than 800 recycle bins to grounds. On the track, Penske will be utilizing an electric Freightliner to transport racing tires to and from the distribution center. It can go 200 miles on a charge.
“We could see this moving into a facility fleet, and how this operates on a day-to-day basis,” explains Tyron Garrison, Vice President of Facilities at Penske Entertainment, “This is the first electric truck that we know of that’s running a commercial route in this region.”
Some of the merchandise vendors will also be using electric vehicles, and selling shirts made of recycled materials.
“The full intention is to take this vehicle onto the grounds, into the parking lots, into the mounds, being able to offer merchandise,” tells Jason Orton, Director of Merchandise at IMS.
“The shirts are made of 6.5 16-ounce bottles that are saved from the landfill,” details Raeann Suggs while holding up a shirt at a merchandise truck. Suggs is the senior merchandise buyer for IMS and Indycar. “Each one of these saves 1.94 gallons of water from a shirt that is made.”
During the pit stop competition, bridgestone will be testing a new tired created partially with sustainable rubber. The majority of rubber comes from trees in southeast asia. The sidewall of these new tires will be made with rubber from a guayule shrub. The plant can be grown in the us.
“We are going to see it at a race in Nashville,” tells Cara Krstolic, Director of Race Tire Engineering and Production at Bridgestone Americas, “We see it in tires here now, but we may see it very soon in your passenger tires.”
This year any prepared or unused food will be donated to Gleaners Food Bank. This includes items from the team hospitality sections plus suites and catering. Any food that can’t be donated will go to a composting facility as part of a new pilot program.
“That will convert to several thousand meals for people right here in the community,” adds Joe Slater, COO of Gleaners Food Bank.
“We hope what we are doing is encouraging our fans to think if the Speedway can do it, so can I?” smiles IMS President Doug Boles.