Mike Burton is the events director for Northlands and is in charge of directing the Honda Indy in Edmonton.
Can you tell me about the Honda Indy?
It kicks off tomorrow and we’ve made a lot of changes to the Indy in 2010. We have a new area called the Bud Zone, which is a family-friendly area, but is more for people who want to come have a cold drink and just relax. In that area we have a collection of cars from hot rods and collectors cars there, and the big deal is the races itself. For $60 you can get a day of racing and track excitement at the city centre airport.
Why should Edmontonians go to the Honda Indy?
First, it’s one of the premiere people-watching events of the summer. And if you like cars, it’s the one-stop fix for car stuff; they’ve got everything.
What’s different about the Indy this year?
We’ve tried to make it more fan friendly — we have areas where fans can bring their own lawn chairs and coolers, sit on the grass and watch the race. We also have cover for people. We also have more cars for people to look at. Not to mention there’s a midway with lots of food and cold beer.
What kind of names in racing do you have at the Indy?
All of the names in racing are here — Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves — all of the big names. We also have a few Canadians here. We have Paul Tracy and a few others, and they’re competing against the world in open wheel racing. There are more than 20 teams coming and we expect them to come to places around Edmonton and we hope they’ll spend money in the capital and stimulate the economy.