The NTT IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway have made their first step in joining the push for social change taking place throughout the country by establishing a ‘Race for Equality & Change’ program.
The companies, owned by Roger Penske, have committed an annual budget of $1 million to the initiative created in the wake of George Floyd’s murder on May 25 in Minnesota.
At the core of the REC initiative, the series and circuit have created a six-point plan to improve IndyCar’s lack of diversity on and off the track:
• Recruiting and developing a diverse workforce throughout all levels of INDYCAR and IMS
• Diversifying the competitive driver field at the grassroots, Road to Indy and NTT IndyCar Series levels
• Supporting impactful grassroots youth motorsports programs, including enhancing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s longstanding partnership with Nexgeneracers, a 501c3 that introduces minority students to the world of motorsports
• Diversifying employment, leadership and ownership within the series and with IndyCar promoters
• Investment in minority communities to encourage greater engagement with IndyCar and IMS
• Establishing a procurement program to meaningfully increase the number of minority-owned businesses that contract with IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway each year.
According to Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles, the series has taken the last month to craft its plan.
“As our country has grappled with systemic issues related to race, equality and access to opportunity, we’ve been doing a lot of listening, learning and reflecting,” he said. “‘Race for Equality & Change’ will create a more diverse and inclusive IndyCar community that fundamentally transforms our sport.”
More details are expected to emerge in the coming days.