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The Success Story of INDYCAR Racing in the Deep South

Barber Motorsports Park, located in Birmingham, Alabama, has earned a reputation in the racing world as the “Augusta National of Motorsports.” Indeed, like the esteemed host course of The Masters, Barber Motorsports Park’s lush landscape — adorned with over 800,000 flowers, 16,000 crape myrtles, and 18,000 azaleas annually — rivals Augusta in its natural beauty and lives up to its prestigious nickname.

Named after George Barber, himself a successful race car driver and businessman, whose vision gave birth to the sprawling 880-acre facility, Barber Motorsports Park also houses the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, which is certified by the Guinness World Records as the “World’s Largest Motorcycle Museum.” 

Opening to the public in 2003, the Park features a challenging road course crafted by renowned designer Alan Wilson and boasts cutting-edge facilities, positioning it as a top-tier racing venue. That same year, Gene Hallman, now president of Troon’s Eventive Sports, and his company became the exclusive promoter for Barber Motorsports Park and began developing the track’s racing portfolio.

In 2007, discussions between representatives from Eventive Sports, Barber Motorsports Park, and INDYCAR (formerly Indy Racing League) began, aiming to forge a partnership. Leveraging the proposed event to showcase the region garnered significant support from the city of Birmingham, Greater Birmingham CVB, the state of Alabama, and the business community. The ensuing investment, coupled with successful tests at the Park, impressed INDYCAR executives and a three-year deal was inked with INDYCAR in July 2009.

The inaugural event in April 2010 — one of the first open-wheel races in the Deep South — marked the beginning of a thriving 14-year partnership and the start of what has now become a staple event on the INDYCAR series calendar. 

Over the last 14 years, the race weekend has certainly evolved, attracting a global audience of over 80,000 fans annually. With ticket sales spanning across all 50 states and reaching 12 countries worldwide, coupled with its live NBC broadcast to over 200 countries, it has become revered by many fans.

Featuring 10 races in three days, this action-packed weekend is a highlight for motorsport enthusiasts and casual fans alike, generating an economic impact of $30 million annually for the state of Alabama. 

The event’s continued success paves the way for sustained growth in the industry, showcasing the enduring appeal of INDYCAR racing and cementing its position as a premier motorsports event in Birmingham.

For more information on Eventive Sports, a Division of Troon, visit:
www.EventiveSports.com or call (205) 967-4745