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Four Indianapolis 500 Festival Princesses appeared on the Circle today along with an official pace car and a replica IndyCar to give away tickets to Community Day and offer passersby a chance to win tickets to the Indy 500 and the 500 Festival Parade. The smiling princesses (Blair Martin, Codie Myers, Emily Smith, and second-runner-up court member Marlie Mathis) were happy to pose with fans while promoting the ticket giveaway.
It’s starting to feel like the Month of May is just around the corner, and not only because May 1 is less than a week away.
We admit it: We’ve been distracted by IU basketball’s (dashed) national-title hopes, March Madness at Lucas Oil Stadium, and the Pacers’ playoff prospects. But the hoopla leading up to the Indianapolis 500 is getting harder to ignore.
On Saturday, rising pop star and Indiana native Jon McLaughlin is opening for chart-topping singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw at the 500 Festival's free “Rev Your Engines” concert on Monument Circle (7 p.m.). It’s just the first of many big-name (and some eyebrow-raising) pre–Indy 500 musical acts that have been announced in recent months:
Racecar driver Zach Veach was included among CNN’s “Most Intriguing People of 2010.” ESPN The Magazine picked him as one of its “NEXT” athletes in 2011. He’s met Oprah.
All this, and Veach is still the youngest driver in the Firestone Indy Lights Series.
Even with the precocious resume, though, the 18-year-old Andretti Autosport prodigy considers himself a “late bloomer.” Although many racers begin driving as early as 4, Veach explains, he didn’t get into go-karts until he was 12, in his hometown of Stockdale, Ohio. But before long, Dave Fisher—father to popular Indy 500 driver and owner Sarah Fisher—took Veach under his wing.
The young phenom has made up for lost time since then: He holds a Firestone Indy Lights series track record on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is currently training for the IMS Firestone Freedom 100 on May 24.
Despite the star treatment, Veach ...
The Indianapolis 500 has come and gone—and what a race it was—and the figures are in. Here's a rundown of important numbers from this latest installment in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing":
$2.47 Million, Dario Franchitti's pay for winning his third Indy 500 (and we don't think he spent it all here)
10 Drivers who have accomplished that feat
16 Franchitti's starting position—and the only previous 500 winner to start 16th was his friend Dan Wheldon in 2005
$13.28 Million, the total purse divided among the 500's 33 starting drivers
91 Degrees, in Fahrenheit, the high temperature in Indy on Race Day, tying the 1919 and 1953 numbers as second-hottest ever
220,000 Attendance, estimated, as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway does not release an official number
34 Lead changes among 10 drivers in this 96th running of the race, a record
200 Laps in the race, around the ...
When you’re a reporter, you’re supposed to keep fandom to yourself. Cheering (and, sadly, beer) is frowned upon in sporting-arena press boxes. There’s never a sign telling you not to; you’re just supposed to know, much the same as no sign tells you to wear pants in public. It’s okay to be breathless in your description of high sports drama, so long as the excitement is not tied to one side in the contest. And you’re not supposed to fawn over the competitors (a dictum many of ESPN’s reporters and commentators seem to have lain aside, but I digress).
I share all this to put my egregious behavior of last Sunday night into context. I was at an Indianapolis 500 after-party downtown with some colleagues, which we planned to cover here on the May Madness pages of IndianapolisMonthly.com. We thought that, as rookie driver Wade Cunningham was hosting the event, ...
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