Mark Miles and Chip Ganassi

The timing was just a bit off May 10 or Hulman & Company CEO Mark Miles would have been pleased to announce to the attendees of the Business of Indiana Motorsports event that state investment in the future vitality of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a go.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed House Enrolled Act 1544, which creates an Indiana Motorsports Investment District that will capture growth in sales and income taxes at the commercial property that includes the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for long-term investment in the facility.

"The success of this legislation reflects their broad understanding of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, its impact on the state's economy and our prospects for growth,” Miles said. “The company is committed to doing everything possible to produce a return for taxpayers. We've been humbled by the overwhelming enthusiasm we've received from Hoosiers as we've gone through the legislative process."

IMS will contribute $2 million a year alongside the $5 million a year through the investment district over 20 years.

"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has contributed to the life of our state for more than a century, enhancing the global reputation of Indiana," Pence said in a news release. "The legislation I signed today makes a state investment that will further economic development in the motorsports industry while also protecting the interests of Hoosier taxpayers."

Speedway officials have discussed numerous potential upgrades to the 104-year-old landmark, including track lighting, technological amendments, seating and accessibility. Events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway attract about 200,000 out-of-state visitors a year, plus thousands more that tour the grounds and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

The Business of Indiana Motorsports panel discussion at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing shop featured Miles, Chip Ganassi and Tom Weisenbach, executive director of the Indiana Motorsports Association.

Indiana’s motorsports industry of about 1,600 companies contributes more than 23,000 jobs paying an average annual wage of $63,000, according to a recent Purdue University study. The industry also is indirectly responsible for 421,000 Hoosier jobs.

“Indianapolis is the ‘Silicon Valley’ of our sport. There’s a lot of technology that comes out of this town and It’s where the work gets done,” said Ganassi, whose IZOD IndyCar Series and GRAND-AM programs are based in Indianapolis. “Then you have these cottage industries around the state that support the industry.”