By J Douglas Boles
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 25, 2011 – The most impressive gathering of Indianapolis 500 veterans in history – more than 100 drivers – will sign autographs at “The World’s Largest Autograph Session” during A.J. Foyt Day festivities Saturday, May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
An added attraction to the autograph session will be the participation of 95-year-old Dick Harroun, the son of inaugural Indianapolis 500 winner Ray Harroun. Dick Harroun’s father drove the famed Marmon “Wasp” to victory in 1911.
All activities during A.J. Foyt Day are free, including the autograph sessions. Public gates open at 8 a.m.
Thirteen retired Indianapolis 500 winners will sign autographs with this year’s starting field of 33 drivers, which includes five active past winners, from 9-10 a.m. in the Pagoda Plaza.
More than 100 retired Indianapolis 500 veterans and Dick Harroun will sign from noon-4 p.m. in the Pagoda Plaza.
Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt will sign in an exclusive autograph session from 11:55 a.m.-12:25 p.m. in the Pagoda Plaza. One-hundred wristbands will be distributed for the autograph session at 9 a.m. in the Pagoda Plaza, with one per person.
No wristbands are required for the other two autograph sessions.
Other fan-friendly activities Saturday at IMS include:
•A public question-and-answer session with Chase Rookie of the Year candidates on the Coca-Cola Stage in the Pagoda Plaza from 8:45-9 a.m.
•A full-scale memorabilia show from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the IMS infield already so popular that vendor space sold out within 48 hours.
•The annual drivers’ meeting from 10:30-11 a.m. on pit road adjacent to the Tower Terrace grandstand, which includes awards presentations and last-minute instructions to the starting field.
•Live music by Nadine Bernecker from 11-11:30 a.m. on the Coca-Cola Stage.
•A.J. Foyt will participate in a question-and-answer session from 11:30-11:45 a.m. on the Coca-Cola Stage.
•An all-day display of 19 vintage sprint and midget race cars in the IMS infield, with several driven by the greatest legends of the Brickyard: Foyt, Andretti, Rutherford and the Unsers.
•The Red Bull Battle at the Brickyard will showcase top bicycle motocross riders from around the world competing on a concrete playground from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Flag Lot. The Flatland BMX competition is similar to break-dancing on a bicycle.
•A display of cars from the Mazda Road To Indy that is grooming the future stars of the Indianapolis 500. Cars from The Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and Firestone Indy Lights will be on display starting at 11 a.m. in the Pagoda Plaza.
•Book signings featuring authors of new books about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its history.
•A “Virtual Indy 500” that will feature fans across the world racing in a full-length Indianapolis 500 on the PC simulation iRacing.com at noon. Selected fans also will compete at 3:30 p.m. against Indianapolis 500 drivers in an iRacing.com sprint race appearing on the large video boards at IMS, with prizes including Race Day packages to the 2011 Indianapolis 500 and more.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum will be open with its incredible new exhibition of 67 Indianapolis 500-winning cars. Museum admission is just $5 for adults and $3 for ages 6-15, with children under 6 free.
WORLD’S LARGEST AUTOGRAPH SESSION PARTICIPANTS
(Participants subject to change)
Past Winners Signing from 9-10 a.m.*
Eddie Cheever Jr.
Gil de Ferran
Al Unser Jr.
* — Also signing from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, May 27 at IMS Hall of Fame Museum
Veterans Signing from Noon-4 p.m.
Willy T. Ribbs
Lyn St. James
Bill Vukovich II
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.