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The Congressional Motorsports Caucus Races to Educate on Capitol Hill

Drivers Rajah Caruth, Tony Schumacher, Christina Lam, and William Byron join members of the House of Representatives to host a congressional briefing with the motorsports industry. (Photo: Max Taylor – National Motorsports Coalition)

WASHINGTON — This is May.

Those three simple words are a statement followed by immense excitement from INDYCAR racing fans from around the world.

One of the many factors that creates the vision of May for racers and racing fans alike is the Borg-Warner trophy, which made its way to Capitol Hill earlier this week for the Congressional Motorsports Caucus on Tuesday, May 7.

Alongside the 5’ 4’’ trophy were driving legends from IMSA, NASCAR, and NHRA, including Christina Lam, Tony Schumacher, Rajah Caruth, and William Byron.

The quartet was joined by Michael Kaltenmark, the head of marketing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), and John Doonan, the president of the International Motor Sports Association, as they attended a congressional briefing regarding the motorsports industry held by the Congressional Motorsports Caucus (CMC) in the Rayburn House office building on Tuesday.

William Byron, Rep. Norma Torres (CA-35), Rajah Caruth, Tony Schumacher, Christina Lam, and Rep. Bill Posey (CA-8) stand with the Borg-Warner trophy. (Photo: Max Taylor – National Motorsports Coalition)

Representative Bill Posey formed the CMC to inform and educate his colleagues in the House of Representatives about the contributions that the motorsports industry has made to the economy such as the advances made in technology and the importance that motorsports holds to the American people. According to the Congressional Motorsports Caucus website, the CMC, composed solely of representatives in the House, serves “as an informal, bipartisan group of Members dedicated to celebrating motorsports of all varieties and understanding their impact on American culture and the economy.”

“I’ve been a racer, owned a race track, and as a realtor been involved with the listing or sale of one hundred race tracks. I’ve enjoyed racing from almost every perspective,” said Congressman Bill Posey.

Attendees were given the opportunity to conduct a session of the CMC with co-chairs Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA). The caucus honed in on the importance of the bipartisan Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act and what is needed to have the bill passed. 

Introduced into the Senate by Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA), the Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act is a “bipartisan legislation that would make permanent a tax classification on depreciating assets for motorsports entertainment facilities,” according to Senator Warner’s Government Website. Should the bill pass, it would allow for improvements in safety, such as counter-drone authorities which will provide more jobs in the local area of each track and ensure the safety of racegoers as well as the race teams themselves.

Byron, Lam, Schumacher and Caruth were invited to speak, allowing members who attended the caucus to evaluate the importance of the preservation of racing heritage and comprehending the value that motorsports brings to our economy as well as the American people. Each racer was asked questions and allowed the opportunity to educate and address key concerns that the motorsports industry is currently facing.

During the session, Byron said, “I am just really thankful to be here and everyone on this panel is super impressive, to hear their stories and experiences and lots of different career paths to get to what we all love — racing.”

William Byron speaking on behalf of Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR during the Congressional Motorsports Caucus on May 7, 2024. (Photo: Max Taylor – National Motorsports Coalition)

Not only does each series of racing provide entertainment to its fans but it provides a financial gain that benefits both people involved in the sport, and those who do not hold an interest in racing.

The Congressional Motorsports Caucus brings visibility to the motorsports industry which supports billions of dollars in economic activity around the world, spurs job growth, and does so much to inspire and train young people in engineering and technology fields all while supplying thrilling sports entertainment to millions of racing fans and enthusiasts,” said Congressman Bill Posey.

According to an economic impact report from October 2023, Indianapolis Motor Speedway alone contributed a total of $1.058 billion to the state of Indiana, $566.4 million of which was profited during the month of May. 

“The Racing Capital of the World is a marquee hub for economic development that directly benefits Central Indiana and the Hoosier State, triggering innovative activity and providing jobs and income for thousands of families,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles said. “The impact and value of IMS and its contributions to Indiana’s economy are invaluable and fuel us to further prioritize our role as a key driver of progress and impact moving forward.” 

William Byron’s teammate, Kyle Larson, will fight for one of the 33 spots to compete in the 108th Indianapolis 500 on May 26th. Larson will drive the No. 17 Arrow McLaren Dallara Chevrolet entry for his chance to take home the Borg-Warner trophy. 

The presence of current racing stars and policymakers at the Motorsports Caucus Congressional Briefing highlights the rare bipartisan recognition of the racing industry’s value and a commitment to paving the way for generations to come.

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