Typically, one is either a football fan or an IndyCar fan. The two rarely collide.
Thanks to the Super Bowl being played in Indianapolis, Ind., the two came together to create a unique experience for fans of both genre of competitive sports.
According to Tamra Sinden, her husband’s company, the Indy Racing Experience, was contacted by the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee to build and showcase 33 Indy two-seater cars in honor of the big game.
|Thirty-three Indy Racing Experience cars were created in honor of Super Bowl XLVI
– one for each franchise team in the NFL, and one representing the Super Bowl. Photo
courtesy of the Super Bowl Committee
Thirty-two of the cars were decked out to represent every franchise team in the National Football League. The 33rd car was decorated to represent Super Bowl XLVI.
“They lined all of the cars up this week on Monument Circle,” Sinden said. “The cars then were taken to various places around the state so fans of the different teams could get up close to the cars. It was a really cool experience.”
The Indy Racing Experience was also featured in the television special, “Funniest Super Bowl Commercials,” last week on CBS.
Sinden, a 1985 Oak Harbor High School graduate, became involved in IndyCar after meeting and marrying her husband Jeff.
“In high school and college, I was involved in track, and I would not necessarily say I was interested in racing,” Sinden said. “Once I met Jeff and learned what went into it, I was hooked as well. It is very competitive and I am a competitive person.”
Jeff, the co-owner of the Indy Racing Experience, became involved in IndyCar almost by accident, Sinden said.
“Jeff grew up racing motocross, dirt bikes, and he did some ice racing. He was traveling cross-country and stopped in Indianapolis. A friend of his asked if he would help in a pit stop competition during the Indy 500 and he was hooked.”
Jeff worked for several race teams including Indy legend Al Unser Sr. and then Al Unser, Jr.
In 1987, Jeff Sinden and Joe Kennedy started Sinden Racing Service located on Gasoline Alley. In 2000, Jeff and Kennedy joined with Scott Jasek, a former executive with Budget Car and Truck Rental, to create the Indy Racing Experience and IndyCar show car program.
The two-seater cars are built by Dallara Automobili, an Italian manufacturer of Indy Cars.
The IndyCar Experience features two-seater IndyCars. According to Sinden, the company allows race car fans to experience the ultimate thrill, either riding in or driving an IndyCar at various tracks across the U.S. during race weekends.
In 2008, the company expanded to offer a full-time Indy Racing Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway, near Orlando.
“The cars can hit speeds of 140 miles per hour at the smaller oval tracks,” Sinden said. “At larger tracks, like Indy, they can reach speeds up to 160 to 170 miles per hour.”
Dallara, which has manufacturing operations in Indianapolis, and the Indy Racing Experience have just finished building a 100,000 sq. foot facility in Speedway, Ind.
“The facility features an interactive area for visitors to Indy,” she explained. “Visitors can see how an Indy car is built, they can design their own race car, and there are even more activities for them.”
Sinden and her husband have three children: Alexa, a freshman at Purdue University; Slater, age 9 and Seve, age 6.
Slater, according to Sinden, is looking forward to racing this summer in quarter midgets.
For more information on the Indy Racing Experience, please go to http://indyracingexperience.com.
Thirty-three Indy Racing Experience cars were created in honor of Super Bowl XLVI – one for each franchise team in the NFL, and one representing the Super Bowl. Photo courtesy of the Super Bowl Committee