WGI's president Craig Rust teleconference

An interview with Craig Rust Indy Racing League Teleconference Transcript THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us for today's Indy Racing League teleconference. We have two drivers joining us today. Starting the call...

An interview with Craig Rust
Indy Racing League Teleconference Transcript

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us for today's Indy Racing League teleconference. We have two drivers joining us today. Starting the call with us is Firestone Indy Lights driver Jeff Simmons. In a few minutes, we'll be joined by IndyCar Series driver Oriol Servia. We also have a special guest today, Watkins Glen International president Craig Rust to talk about the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights races this weekend at The Glen.

Craig Rust, the president of Watkins Glen International, has called in. We'll give him a few minutes to talk about the races we have this weekend. Craig, welcome to the call. Tell us a little bit about what's going on out there at The Glen this weekend.

CRAIG RUST: Appreciate you allowing me to be on the call this afternoon. We're real excited to host the IndyCar Series again. We're real happy that we're on a consistent date. As many people on the call know, we've bounced around early on in '05 and '06, but really feel like we found a nice place on the Fourth of July weekend up here.

Nice part of the country. Weather forecast looks excellent, which we're real happy about, so it's good to have everybody come back up here.

Got a great weekend planned. Great partners with Camping World and Corning. Probably the biggest couple of things we're doing a little bit different this year, or ways that we're expanding this event, we've got Gavin DeGraw, platinum recording artist, playing Saturday night. He has some ties to Ithaca, so that's really created a nice buzz in the marketplace for us.

We also have partnered up with our ABC affiliate on Friday. We've got a great big -- they're calling it an Indy-Pendence Festival right down at the lakefront all day Friday. That's been going on for years in this community, and we're just real happy that we worked with WENY to partner with them and to build that as a kickoff for the weekend for the next three years.

So that's in place. That will happen every Friday for the next three years. Again, just another way that we can tie the event to the community and the community to the event to just make it bigger and better.

The fans from the Indy Racing League will be down there. We'll get a couple drivers down there to speak. More music, a lot of things for kids. We're excited about that.

And then the other thing we're doing a little bit different this year, kids are free -- 12 and under, general admission tickets are free for them at the track. That was real important. We actually did that well before the economy kind of took a little bit of a turn here.

But, again, Fourth of July is about spending time with your family and friends and celebrating, so we really wanted to create a festival atmosphere up at the track.

We have the fireworks, the concert. We've expanded our display area. We've got a wine tent with I think there's about eight motorsports artists coming up to display artwork. We have a full green EXPO that we will have up there. I think we have about 12 partners in there, various businesses that are going to display their green initiatives.

We've worked with the league, as well, Rahal Letterman Racing with the ethanol car. Just a lot going on.

Again, really want to make sure that the people that come out have a great time, so we really focus on the guest experience. As Jeff indicated, the racing here, second to none. We're proud to be the kickoff for the permanent road courses. I think we're going to see a great race, especially with the expanded field, so we're carrying a lot of momentum into the weekend and we're real excited about it.

THE MODERATOR: We appreciate you taking the time to call in. We wish everybody the best of luck at The Glen this weekend. Nice to hear the weather forecast is going to be good. That's excellent.

CRAIG RUST: Absolutely. Appreciate you having me on.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Oriol Servia , Jeff Simmons