By J. Douglas Boles
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, May 15, 2011 – Owners of more than 250 vintage Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars will have the opportunity to take a ceremonial lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the end of Pole Day/Tom Carnegie Day on Saturday, May 21.
Held in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 and a month-long celebration of great race and passenger cars at IMS, more than 250 Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars will appear May 21-22 at the Racing Capital of the World. This special two-day event, which will be highlighted by the ceremonial pace lap just after 6 p.m. Pole Day, will showcase the largest collection of vintage Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars ever assembled.
Headlining this amazing array of automobiles will be the historic Stoddard-Dayton model that paced the inaugural Indianapolis 500 won in 1911 by Ray Harroun, who drove the legendary Marmon-Wasp to victory. The 1911 Indianapolis 500 was the first auto race ever to use a Pace Car, which is now a tradition at races around the world. At the wheel of the Stoddard-Dayton at the 1911 “500” was Carl G. Fisher, one of the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Another featured car at the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Reunion will be the Chevrolet Camaro from the 1969 “500” won by Mario Andretti. The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car is painted to look exactly like its 1969 predecessor.
From 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Pole Day, the Pace Cars will be staged for a “Fans Choice” vote. The cars also will be on display in the infield from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Bump Day/IMS Armed Forces Day on Sunday, May 22. As an added attraction, car clubs featuring muscle cars, exotics and more will provide fans plenty of eye candy.
Additional highlights of Pole Day/Tom Carnegie Day on May 21 include question-and-answer sessions at 10 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. with a past Indy 500 pole winner on the Coca-Cola Stage, hosted by IMS Historian Donald Davidson.
Musical performances on the Coca-Cola Stage includeSixteen Candles at 1 p.m. and All Time Low at 3:30 p.m.
Featured events on Bump Day/IMS Armed Forces Day on May 22 include an amazing collection of military vehicles on display in the Pagoda Plaza for fans to review. The traditional, annual Armed Forces Enlistment Ceremony will begin at 10:15 a.m.
Willy T. Ribbs, the first African-American to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, will appear in a question-and-answer session at 10:45 a.m. on the Coca-Cola Stage, followed by an autograph session at 11:30 a.m. in the Pagoda Plaza.
Three musical performances will take place on the Coca-Cola Stage: Rapid Fire at 9 a.m., Blank Pages at noon and Living Proof at 3:30 p.m.
Admission is $15, with kids 12 and under are free, each day May 21-22.
The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 starts at noon (ET) May 29. Live coverage on ABC and the IMS Radio Network-XM 94 starts at 11 a.m.
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.