IndyCar Offers Update On Race For Equality & Change

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NXG Youth Motorsports Inc.'s Rod Reid talks to members of the media Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (IndyCar Photo)
NXG Youth Motorsports Inc.'s Rod Reid talks to members of the media Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (IndyCar Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS – The next step in Penske Entertainment Corp.’s Race for Equality and Change program was unveiled Saturday morning at the go-kart track alongside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Penske Entertainment Corp. officials confirmed a major expansion of its relationship with NXG Youth Motorsports Inc., a 501c3 that introduces minority students to motorsports. It was founded by Charles Wilson and Rod Reid.

“NXG uses the world of motorsports to provide students access to STEM curriculum, career pathways and valuable life lessons,” said Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles. “We’re thrilled to partner with Coach Rod Reid to support his tremendous work and the expansion of his program.”

As part of the announcement diverse group of young drivers were ready to take to the track, dressed in racing firesuits with gloves and helmets. Afterwards, they battled each other on the track in what is hoped to be their first step toward one day realizing a career in the NTT IndyCar Series.

Officials also named Jimmie McMillian Chief Diversity Officer for Penske Entertainment Corp. He previously served as Senior Corporate Counsel for Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He is a nationally recognized and is a consistent voice for diversity in the legal profession in Indianapolis.

“I’m honored to take on this role and ready to help fuel change and inclusivity in our sport,” McMillian said. “Penske Entertainment Corp. is committed to making a difference, and today’s announcements are just the beginning of the important work and progress to come.”

“Jimmie is an impactful leader and a strong voice for inclusivity and diversity,” Miles said. “His experience, perspectives and community relationships will be a tremendous asset in this role. We’re grateful to have him guiding this significant and important effort for us.”

Race for Equality & Change was unveiled during this year’s Brickyard 400 weekend and represents a major effort to support diversity and inclusivity across the IndyCar industry.
Key goals include:

    • 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, like NXG
    • 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

Penske Entertainment Corp., owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR, has teamed up with several corporate partners to provide increased funding and resources to NXG.

Young racers await the chance to go racing on the go-kart track outside of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum on Saturday. (Bruce Martin Photo)
Young racers await the chance to go racing on the go-kart track outside of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum on Saturday. (Bruce Martin Photo)

More than half a million dollars in funds and in-kind contributions have been raised, with key donations coming from program title sponsor Lucas Oil, Penske Entertainment Corp., LifeSecure Insurance Company and Snap-on Incorporated.

NXG will also be provided a permanent garage at IMS with brand-new tools from Snap-on.
The increased funding and infrastructure further the program in several important ways, including allowing for a yearlong curriculum, increasing the number of students participating and enhancing the depth and quality of student experience.

“The support from partners new and long-term, including LifeSecure Insurance, Snap-on, Penske Entertainment Corp. and Lucas Oil, will help us build upon the strong foundation we’ve established,” said Reid. “Ultimately, we’ll be able to ensure more students have access to opportunities that teach vital life and career skills on a year-long basis.”

Since its inception in 2006, NXG has introduced more than 1,000 boys and girls ages 11 to 16 to the educational benefits that can be derived from performance driving. It utilizes racing as a training tool for life-skill development, engaging participants in classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction. Participants are introduced to motorsports career opportunities such as engineering, marketing, management, food service, and health and fitness while being inspired to become safe, responsible future drivers.

The announcement coincides with NXG’s season finale taking place this week at IMS as part of the Indycar Harvest GP presented by GMR.