NASCAR's newest series: Indoor kart racing?

NASCAR, AMP Group USA to start in Orlando, spread to other markets.

One closes, one opens.

The NASCAR Sports Grille in Orlando's Universal CityWalk, a 530-seat restaurant that used to be called the NASCAR Cafe, is closing for good November 1, leaving only one NASCAR-affiliated NASCAR Sports Grille, located in Hampton, Virginia.

But NASCAR just announced another venture for Orlando that is expected to spread nationwide -- indoor "high performance" electric karting, on a half-mile track.

Retail conglomerate and property developer, AMP Group USA, has a partnership with NASCAR to form I-DRIVE NASCAR, a "new indoor high performance kart racing facility set to open in Orlando on December 19," well before crowds come to Florida for Daytona Speedweeks. The family-friendly entertainment complex located at 5228 Vanguard Street, will feature kart racing, a bowling alley, gaming arcade, dine-in restaurant and corporate meeting space.

The I-DRIVE NASCAR logo was unveiled at the 65,000-square-foot facility as part of a special event featuring the two Central Florida-based companies and Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer. The new business is part of AMP Group's ongoing efforts to revitalize the north end of International Drive and will create approximately 150 jobs.

'A great win'

"This partnership with NASCAR represents a great win for the Orlando community," said Alejandro Pezzini, Chief Operating Officer at AMP Group. "The strength and popularity of the NASCAR brand will ensure the success of I-DRIVE NASCAR for years to come."

"NASCAR fans share a passion for fast cars and thrilling racing," said Blake Davidson, Vice President, Licensing and Consumer Products at NASCAR. "Together with AMP Group we're excited to bring fans an experience we know they will enjoy, while at the same time introducing NASCAR to younger and more diverse audiences."

The I-DRIVE NASCAR facility will feature a half-mile indoor track and environmentally friendly electric karts, powered by Sodikarts and capable of safely reaching speeds up to 45 miles per hour. Individual racing experiences will begin at $22.

I-DRIVE NASCAR, the company says, will have entertainment options for the entire family. Guests will be invited to bowl at the facility's four-lane bowling café or visit an arcade complete with 60 state-of-the-art games. A full-service restaurant seats up to 80 patrons and will serve an American-style menu, while more than 5,000 square feet of meeting space will cater to corporate audiences.

AMP Group plans to build the blueprint for I-DRIVE NASCAR in Orlando before expanding to other U.S. markets and internationally to Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. AMP Group's recent ventures include the development of other International Drive properties including Orlando Crossings Mall and the first branch of the Brazilian National Bank (BB Americas) in Central Florida.

Be part of something big

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Series NASCAR
Article type Breaking news
Tags amp group, indoor karting, nascar