Rahal: Indiana makes it easy for motorsports to do business
The business of motorsports touches all 92 Indiana counties, and there are indications the state’s status as a motorsports hub is on the rise. NTT IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal says the business climate in Indiana is conducive to investment.
Last August, Rahal announced plans to invest $20 million to build a new headquarters for his company, Graham Rahal Brands, inside Creekside Corporate Park in Zionsville. And just last week, he detailed plans to open a luxury motorcycle dealership in Carmel next month before moving it to the new HQ location.
Rahal discussed the benefits of doing business in Indiana in an interview with Inside INdiana Business Host Gerry Dick.
“First off, I think the state has made it attractive,” said Rahal. “When you look at the industries that Indianapolis has to offer, the talent pool that it has to offer, the cottage industries whether it be carbon fiber shops, whether it be the actual Firestone Performance Tire…everybody’s here. So the ease of that side of the business is critical.”
Rahal’s team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, also recently opened its own $20 million headquarters in Zionsville. He said having proximity to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has become a key driver for many teams setting up shop in central Indiana.
“The amount of our month and year that we dedicate to that facility specifically is tremendous,” he said. “And if you’re from out of town, like we used to be, you got guys living in a hotel for a month, which isn’t exactly what you want to do. And so, I think quality of life-wise for our people, it was a lot better to be here.”
Rahal said the new RLL facility is unlike other IndyCar shops operating currently.
“It gives us the resources to put all of our tools together in one great facility and maximize it and maximize our people give our people an opportunity. I think we’re we are different than every other team is giving our people the opportunity to succeed internally.”
Rahal and his team aren’t the only ones setting up shop around Indy.
In December, Andretti Autosport broke ground on a $200 million motorsports headquarters in Fishers. United Kingdom-based McLaren Racing announced plans last year to invest more than $25 million to build a new IndyCar facility in Whitestown and create up to 175 jobs.
As investments continue to be made at IMS and in IndyCar from owner Roger Penske and his team, Rahal said there appears to be a “good buzz” around open wheel racing.
“I think Roger provides a lot of stability to the sport. He’s a very conservative minded guy, in my opinion when it comes to marketing and stuff like that, but he’s got a good group around him. And I think that they’re going to continue to push the sport forward. And it’s on us as teams and all the faces like myself to help take it to the next step and hopefully we can do so.”