Who Owns Speedway Motorsports? [Ultimate Guide!]

In the middle of May, the world’s largest stock car race, the Indianapolis 500, will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. This year’s edition of the race is going to be a special one, as it will mark the first time that women have ever been given the opportunity to participate in the iconic event as drivers. As a result, the 2019 race has become somewhat of a cause celebre in the motorsport world.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the site of the race, is a unique structure in many ways. It has always been a popular location for auto races and is even considered to be one of the “birthplaces” of motor sports. Founded in 1911, the track has been the scene of some of the most important races in history, including the first Indy 500 in 1911 and the Daytona 500 in 1913. Over the years, the Indy 500 has been won by such notable drivers as Mario Andretti, Al Unser Jr., and A. J. Foyt.

As the years went by, the Indy 500 became more of a celebration of American culture and heritage. It was during this time that the event started to attract a greater audience, as more people became interested in seeing iconic American cars and drivers competing in a prestigious race. Some of the cars that were particularly well-loved were the 1933 Plymouth, 1937 Ford, and especially the 1939–1942 Chrysler. The latter two were known as “poverty-stricken car companies that couldn’t compete with the big three,” and it was during this time that fans really started to show their support for these “lesser-known” American car companies. It wasn’t only about racing cars, either; people started showing more interest in the Indy 500 as a whole, including the history of the race and the people behind it.

The Evolution Of The Motorsport Industry

Let’s take a step back and take a quick look at the evolution of the motorsport industry. Back in the day, motor racing was considered to be “men’s sport,” particularly stock car racing, which was seen as a “battle of the sexes.” For many years, women were not even allowed to drive cars at all, let alone race them. It wasn’t until the 1930s that women started participating in auto races on a regular basis, with some tracks even going so far as to ban women from participating in certain races because they didn’t want “distracted drivers.”

As you can imagine, not a lot has changed in terms of the way people think about motorsport and what it means to be a “racing driver” and “motorsport fan” today. Women are still considered to be less capable than men when it comes to driving, and stereotypes about what a “real” man should be like in terms of both looks and behavior are still common (to this day) in the world of motorsport. As a result of this mentality, it wasn’t until the 1990s that NASCAR, the most popular American racing series, even considered letting women become a part of their “family” of drivers, with Richard Childress Sr. being the first to openly accept “his” daughters’ participation in the sport.

The Challengers

Nowadays, the Indy 500 and other major auto races, such as the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400, don’t just attract fans; they also attract a large group of people who want to become involved in the sport as some sort of stakeholder. In order to make the jump from spectator to participant, motorsport enthusiasts must first secure a license from the motorsport governing body in their country. Once they have their license, they can then take part in one of the many series that are held across the world annually.

These days, motorsport is a very competitive sport, and drivers, teams, and circuits are always on the lookout for the next big thing. In order to gain an advantage over their competitors, some of these outfits will go to great lengths to find the best possible drivers and teams regardless of their gender. The fact that women are finally getting the opportunity to participate in auto races on a reasonably professional level has also prompted some of the more established teams and circuits to re-examine their policies on hiring and retaining drivers, as well as what it means to be a “full-time” driver.

The Role Of Social Media

One of the more interesting aspects of the recent wave of feminist activism and resistance that has swept the country over the past year has been the role that social media has played. As you may know, in January 2019, the Michigan Legislature passed a bill that would have banned most abortions after a fetal heartbeat was detected, which can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The bill included a 20-week ban on abortions, which is why it’s widely considered to be one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the country. (The U.S. Supreme Court eventually rejected this sort of limitation, ruling that states cannot place an undue burden on a woman’s ability to access abortion services.)

While the bill was on its way to becoming law, opponents started using the hashtag #MyBodyMyBusiness to show off their enormous support for abortion rights. As a result, the American Civil Liberties Union decided to go after the bill’s sponsors, State Senator Cindy Gamrat and State Representative Sarah Hawkins, both Republicans, arguing that the bill would restrict access to reproductive health care for women and men in need. They eventually dropped the charges, but the battle had already been fought and won in the courts and the media. (It should be noted that both Senators defended the constitutionality of the bill, but they also voted against the final bill because it was too liberal.)

As the saying goes, the farther you get from Twitter, the less you know. The thing about Twitter, Facebook, and the other social media platforms is that they can be used to find information and communicate with people all over the world, not just within the country. This is something that the sponsors of SB 852 may not have taken into consideration, as they seemed to think that the only people that would be following and supporting their cause would be people in their own state. As a result, they were completely unprepared for the massive online outcry that ultimately led to the defeat of the bill. The only thing that could have made it worse is had the bill been signed into law, as opponents would then have had to go through with an incredibly expensive and time-consuming court battle just to have it overturned.

Conclusion

Overall, it’s been an interesting journey, from the early days of auto racing all the way up to the present day. As a result of this, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and other major tracks around the world have had to adapt and change with the times, just like any other professional sports league or organization. The key difference is that where the traditional sports world finds peace, motorsport finds war, domination, and unrest. Just like any other emerging industry, motorsport faces the challenge of finding a balance between tradition and modernity, patriarchy and feminism, and the like.

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