ims Indianapolis Motor Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, March 16, 2011 – The Month of May will be better than ever for fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as a variety of special events will take place all month to celebrate the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, “The Most Important Race in History.”

New events such as Emerging Tech Day, the Celebration of Automobiles join the schedule this May. Special activities are being added to traditional fan favorites such as Opening Day, Fast Friday, Pole Day, Bump Day, American Family Insurance 500 Festival Community Day, Miller Lite Carb Day, Public Drivers’ Meeting and Race Day.

The schedule was devised after receiving input from thousands of fans.

“We have listened to our fans through surveys and focus groups, as their feedback is so important,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. president and chief executive officer. “The result is a breathtaking array of events worthy of our 100th anniversary that we believe our fans will love and remember.”

The fun begins Saturday, May 7 – a week before Opening Day for the Indianapolis 500 – and continues through 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 Race Day, Sunday, May 29. Selected event highlights:

•Saturday, May 7: Emerging Tech Day, presented by Allison Transmission, Indianapolis Power & Light, Duke Energy and the U.S. Army, and Allison Transmission Balloon Festival. This event celebrates the Speedway as a proving ground and showcase for sustainable automotive technology and will feature more than 80 universities racing in cars designed by students using solar, electric and hybrid power. A variety of car manufacturers will provide electric-vehicle “ride and drives” for the public. The Allison Transmission Balloon Festival will take place that evening. This entire day is free to the public.

•Saturday, May 14: Celebration of Automobiles Classic Car Show and Indianapolis 500 Opening Day. Throughout the month, IMS will present a Celebration of Automobiles. Featured offerings will be the Classic Car Show on Saturday, May 14 and the month-long display of nearly 70 Indianapolis 500-winning cars at the IMS Hall of Fame Museum. The Classic Car Show will feature Pebble Beach Concours winners and an unprecedented gathering of outstanding cars representing the 24 manufacturers that competed in the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones will be the chief judge for the event, which will feature more than 250 classic cars.

•Saturday, May 21: Pole Day. In addition to the excitement of the battle for the pole position of the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, this day will celebrate the 24 living pole winners of the race, who have been invited to return to the Speedway. Continuing with the month-long Celebration of Automobiles, the largest collection of vintage Pace Cars – as many as 200 – will be on display throughout the weekend. Car clubs featuring muscle cars, exotics and more also will provide fans plenty of eye candy.

•Sunday, May 22: Bump Day. Along with the tension and drama of the final day of qualifications, a new, higher-profile Armed Forces Day will be presented as well as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Willy T. Ribbs’ milestone as the first African-American to qualify for the Indy 500.

•Saturday, May 28: The “Day Before the 500.” Dramatic, exciting changes are in store for fans at IMS the final day before the world’s greatest auto race. Long known as a quiet afternoon at the track after the full-field autograph session and Drivers’ Meeting in the morning, this day bursts with activity this May. All 269 living veterans of the Indy 500 have been invited back to IMS, and the “World’s Largest Autograph Session” will give fans unprecedented access to legends of the Brickyard. A full-scale Indy 500 memorabilia show will take place in the track’s infield, as well as a display of sprint and midget cars of the past driven by the greatest names of Indy lore: Foyt, Andretti, Unser, Rutherford and more.

•Sunday, May 29: Race Day. The biggest day in worldwide motorsports will offer all the traditions that fans crave, with a special emphasis on winning cars and drivers of the past. Big visuals and large-scale stunts to be announced soon will be the exclamation mark on the month-long 100th Anniversary celebrations.

“We have several other exciting elements of celebration that will be announced in the coming weeks,” Belskus said. “Every event will combine to create a spectacular month of May at IMS, filled with memories for a lifetime for our loyal fans.”

In addition to these events, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is launching its “Back Home Again” contest, challenging cities throughout Indiana to compete for a grand prize of $25,000 for the best Indy 500-decorated community. The winners will be announced in May.

“The Greatest 33” program also allows fans to vote for their dream all-time Indianapolis 500 lineup of 33 drivers at in March and April. The top 33 drivers, as selected by fans, will be unveiled in May at IMS.


2011 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, “The Most Important Race in History,” on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Children 12 and under will be receive free general admission to any IMS event in 2011 when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.