By J Douglas Boles
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 2, 2011 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George and legendary four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt will place a commemorative “golden” brick into the famous Yard of Bricks on Tuesday, May 24 at IMS.
This event will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Foyt’s first Indy 500 win in 1961 and the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.
Former Speedway owner Tony Hulman – Mari Hulman George’s father – and inaugural Indianapolis 500 winner Ray Harroun first placed a “golden” brick into the famed Yard of Bricks at the start-finish line of the 2.5-mile oval after the main straightaway was paved with asphalt in autumn 1961, the 50th anniversary year of the race.
Three more veterans to sign May 28: Popular Indianapolis 500 veterans Gary Bettenhausen, Mel Kenyon and Wally Dallenbach have joined the growing lineup of drivers who will participate in the “World’s Largest Autograph Session” on Saturday afternoon, May 28 at IMS during A.J. Foyt Day activities.
USAC short-track legend “Gary B” made 21 Indianapolis starts between 1968-93, with a best finish of third in 1980. USAC Midget legend Kenyon recorded four top-five finishes in eight Indianapolis starts between 1966-73. Dallenbach achieved four consecutive top-10 finishes during 13 Indianapolis 500 starts between 1967-79.
Every living driver from the Indianapolis 500 has been invited to IMS to participate in this autograph session, which consists of two signing groups, one from 9-10 a.m. in the Pagoda Plaza and another from noon-4 p.m. in the IMS infield.
The morning group will feature all 33 drivers in the starting field of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 plus most of the 27 living winners of the “500,” while the afternoon group will feature veteran drivers such as Bettenhausen, Kenyon and Dallenbach, including “roadster” standouts from the 1950s and 1960s.
ESPN ‘SportsCenter’ celebrates Indy: ESPN’s flagship news and information program, “SportsCenter,” started a series of Indianapolis 500 Centennial Moments on Sunday, May 1 that will continue through Race Morning, Sunday, May 29.
The video segments will look back on some of the greatest moments and biggest heroes over the history of the race. There will be a new segment each day, and each will run a minimum of three times a day, included in the daytime, prime time and West Coast prime time programs. The moments alos will be available for viewing on ESPN.com.
The Indianapolis 500 will air on ABC for the 47th consecutive year on May 29. Coverage is presented by GoDaddy.com and begins at 11 a.m. (ET).
Schmidt gala to honor Penske: Legendary Indianapolis 500 team owner Roger Penske will be honored with the Legends of Racing Award at the 12th annual Racing to Recovery Gala presented by The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF) on Wednesday, May 18.
The gala is taking place at D’Amore, located ato the Chase Bank Building on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis.
Penske Racing has won a record 15 Indianapolis 500’s. Penske joins an illustrious list of Legends of Racing Award winners, including Rick Mears, Parnelli Jones, Arie Luyendyk, Mario Andretti and Michael Andretti.
Throughout the evening, guests will have the opportunity to mingle with Indianapolis 500 greats from the past and present and current IZOD IndyCar Series team owners and drivers, while raising money to support medical research, rehabilitation and quality-of-life programs for those living with paralysis. The event will feature a silent and live auction, giving guests the opportunity to bid on unique racing-themed items.
SSPF was started in 2000 by INDYCAR driver Sam Schmidt shortly after a practice crash left him paralyzed from the chest down. SSPF is leading the charge to cure paralysis by funding scientific research, medical treatment, rehabilitation and technological advances benefiting those with spinal cord injuries, stroke victims and people diagnosed with ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
For ticket information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (317) 236-9999.
Special Oakley sunglasses on sale: Limited-edition Indy 500 Pit Boss sunglasses commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 are on sale at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Gift Shop, at Brickyard Authentics Online (www.brickyardauthentics.com) and at select Oakley retailers. The sunglasses come in a large custom case and include part of an original IMS brick used to pave the track more than 100 years ago.
The matte black and titanium frame is optimized with black iridium® polarized lenses designed to help the wearer maintain color recognition. An Indianapolis 500 logo is laser-etched at the corner of the lens, and a custom microclear™ bag included for lens cleaning also contains an Indianapolis 500 emblem.
Only 100 pairs of the Indy 500 Pit Boss sunglasses were produced.
INDYCAR Ministry golf outing May 12: Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., Indy 500 veterans Scott Goodyear, Graham Rahal and Sebastian Saavedra and Firestone Indy Lights veteran Martin Plowman will participate in the annual INDYCAR Ministry Golf Outing on Thursday, May 12 at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course.
Registration and a continental breakfast start at 8 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 9 a.m. An awards luncheon and silent auction will follow golf, with proceeds from the day benefiting INDYCAR Ministry.
Entry fees are $1,000 per foursome or $250 per person. Players can register at www.indycarministry.com. The registration deadline is May 6.
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 www.imstix.com, 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.