Open-Wheels Motorsports Sanctioning (OWMS) is the official sanctioning body of the Open-Wheels 500 Mile Race. OWMS oversees all aspects of the 500 Mile Race, including competition, fundraising, marketing and media, and even photography.

Open-Wheels Motorsports Sanctioning was founded by Tanner Watkins in 2019 as an extension of the Watkins Motorsports Group to promote the Open-Wheels 500 and further develop the product of sim racing as a viable form of competition and entertainment.


Tanner is President of Open-Wheels Motorsports Sanctioning, founding the Open-Wheels 500 in 2019.  A graduate of Eastern Illinois University and the University of Southern Indiana, Watkins is a veteran in the sim racing community and serves as the Marketing and Media Manager at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.

Vice President of Competition

Carter is the Vice President of Competition at Open-Wheels Motorsports Sanctioning. McCue is a Southern California native with longstanding ties to motorsports and is involved in the day-to-day officiating of Open-Wheels Motorsports Sanctioning events.

Director of Technology

Serving as the Director of Technology, Philip is an experienced IT specialist with career stops in radio broadcasting and photography. Watkins is a maiden member of the Watkins Motorsports Group, founded in 2015.

Race Steward

John is the middle generation of three Watkins’ involved with Open-Wheels Motorsports Sanctioning, providing race steward assistance during OWMS events that he is not competing in. Hailing from Oregon, Watkins began sim racing in 2015 and specializes in the IndyCar and Mazda MX-5.

Photography Lead

As the lead photographer for Open-Wheels Motorsports Sanctioning, Riley heads up the creative direction of documenting the visual history of the Open-Wheels 500 Mile Race. A talented iRacing competitor, Thompson has raced for a variety of accomplished teams in sim racing.

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