|Members of Indiana-based teams and NHRA representatives who took part in Motorsports Day at the Indiana Legislature gathered with Gov. Mike Pence. Among them were Antron Brown; Eddie Krawiec; Glen Gray, NHRA vice president of technical operations; Wes Collier, general manager of Lucas Oil Raceway; and Mike Lewis, executive vice president of Don Schumacher Racing.
NHRA teams based in Indiana were honored during Motorsports Day at the Indiana Legislature on Tuesday, March 5, in Indianapolis. This celebration of racing included a tour of the Indiana State House and a private meeting with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Motorsports Day at the Indiana Legislature recognized that in 2012, all major auto racing championships, excluding stock car, were captured by teams headquartered in Indiana. Don Schumacher Racing driver Antron Brown (Top Fuel), who won his first championship in 2012, and three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Eddie Krawiec of Vance & Hines were in attendance and recognized for their championships.
“I feel very fortunate and blessed to be honored by our state. It’s a great, great honor. I’ve lived around Brownsburg and now in Pittsboro, where Billie Jo and I are raising our kids,” Brown said. “I grew up in New Jersey, but Indiana has become my home. Brownsburg is the hub of NHRA Professional Drag Racing and home for our Don Schumacher Racing organization. Being recognized by the Indiana Legislature for being the NHRA Top Fuel world champion is very special to me, my family, and our Matco Tools team.”
Three-time NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Krawiec, left, Pence, center, and 2012 Top Fuel champion Brown met during Indiana Motorsports Day in Indianapolis on Tuesday at the Indiana State House.
“To have the state of Indiana recognize all the teams’ accomplishments from the past year that come from Indiana shows how much they care about the motorsports industry,” Krawiec stated. “I have been lucky enough to have gotten recognized three times, and each time is as equally important. It makes me proud to live in a state that recognizes anything to do with motorsports.”
Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car world champion Jack Beckman was also honored for winning his first championship in 2012.
“Being called a world champion and to be honored by the state of Indiana is almost beyond words. As a kid growing up, everyone recognized Indy as the center for a lot of American motorsports, and over the last 15 years, it’s become the center for NHRA Professional Drag Racing,” Beckman said. “It’s very special to be part of Indiana, where I’ve been able to spend a lot of time over the past seven years since I joined Don Schumacher Racing. This honor is pretty special.”
Executives from NHRA were also present during this opportunity including Glen Gray, NHRA vice president of technical operations, Wes Collier, general manager of Lucas Oil Raceway and Scott Smith, senior communications manager NHRA.
Indiana has long been known as a home to racing, and this was an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the teams based in the state.
“We are proud to honor Indiana race teams for their achievements,” said Pence. “Winning performances on the track are not only a Hoosier tradition, but an industry and culture that help drive the Hoosier economic engine. Racing companies continue to find that Indiana’s pro-growth policies and central location perform for their business, making our state the ideal home to start their engines."
Krawiec and Brown met with Sen. Tom Wyss, of Fort Wayne. Wyss is the head of the Motorsports Caucus for Indiana.
Also honored during the day was Andretti Autosport and Target Chip Ganassi Racing of the Izod IndyCar Series and the Grand Am Road Racing team of Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Prior to meeting with Pence, Brown and Krawiec were recognized by the Indiana Senate and House of Representatives during Motorsports Day at the Indiana Legislature. They were also able to address members of the House of Representatives during the day.
More than 20 race cars and their crews in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series are operated out of Brownsburg, including John Force Racing, Morgan Lucas Racing, Tony Pedregon Racing, Cruz Pedregon Racing, Vance & Hines Motorsports, Al-Anabi Racing, and Lucas Oil Motorsports. The NHRA owns and operates the historic multi-purpose facility Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis located in Brownsburg. The facility hosts the world’s largest drag race, the NHRA U. S. Nationals held annually over Labor Day weekend. Lucas Oil Raceway also is home to a .686-mile oval and 2.5-mile road course.