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Arts & Culture

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The Driver's Seat: Wade Cunningham

Wow, the last three weeks have been a whirlwind. I’ve put so many hours into practicing, qualifying, and traveling for media obligations, I’ve barely had time to do my laundry! I had no idea what I was in for with time commitments out of the car, and I have a new level of appreciation for the other guys who have competed in the Indianapolis 500 for multiple years.

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Hot New Drivers (and Cows) on Hand for Fastest Rookie Luncheon

Members of the racing and dairy communities came together today for the Fastest Rookie of the Year Award Luncheon to celebrate the eight rookie drivers starting in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

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Celeb Roster Just Released for 500 Fest Parade

The Indy 500 celebrity announcements are coming fast and furious now. The 500 Festival just released a complete roster of notables set to attend Saturday’s IPL 500 Festival Parade (May 26, noon, downtown).

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Inside Track: Easy Riders

Racing teams aren’t the only ones who have to think about fuel conservation at the track. Fans logging marathon days at the Speedway should pace themselves, too. One way to save energy is by taking advantage of free pedicab rides from infield parking spots to the stands. Dozens of bike-pulled chariots line up on Hulman Drive—they’re off today, but will return Wednesday and stay through the 500. The IMS has contracted Circle City Pedicabs to provide lifts on the house for the last few years, and owner Tony Ostler now brings in help from Lone Star BikeCAB in Texas (the company is owned by a Hoosier) to keep up with demand. “It’s constant, nonstop,” Ostler says. “But our drivers love riding bikes. They’re cyclists. They take vacations on their bikes.” Make sure to get your driver’s card if you want to call ahead and arrange a return ride back to your car. And don’t forget to tip. 

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The Theban Trilogy at the IMA

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to see No Exit’s wonderfully unconventional Antigone on the grounds of the IMA. And as powerful as the Sophocles play was, I couldn’t help but feel as if I had walked into a movie an hour late. Having not seen the prequels Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus, performed earlier this month, I had to pick up elements of the backstory not remembered from college on the fly. Lucky for you, No Exit will stage all three plays on May 31, June 1, and June 2.

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Mandel at IMS: The Highs and Lows of Howie

Over the weekend, IMS announced that Howie Mandel will take on honorary PA duties at the Indy 500, which entails calling “all cars to the grid” before the race, a job once performed by the dearly departed Tom Carnegie.

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Vintner Mario Andretti Regales Guests at Wine Dinner

Earlier this week, May Madness reported that tickets to the Andretti Wine Dinner at Mo’s A Place for Steaks (47 S. Pennsylvania St., 624-0720) were going for $125 a pop. But evidently price was no object for the more than 150 diners who turned out last night to meet Mario Andretti and sit down to a four-course meal paired with wine from the racing legend’s own winery and vineyard in Napa Valley, California.

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Carb Loading: "Fast" Food Pit Stops Near IMS

For us, as for working stiffs around the city, Fast Friday Practice at IMS (May 18, 8 a.m.–6 p.m., $10) means playing afternoon hooky at the track. But first we fuel up at one of our favorite westside lunch spots:

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Tweets of the Week: May 12-18

 

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JR Hildebrand Rides Again

Fresh-faced IndyCar star JR Hildebrand—a rookie no more, and not yet a veteran—takes the wheel in Indy Monthly’s May issue. The 24-year-old suffered a series of maladies, both physical and personal, in 2011. “These things happen in auto racing,” says a member of Hildebrand’s team. “But everything happened to JR, and I mean everything, in one year.”

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Olivia Newton-John to be 500 Parade's Grand Marshal

“Let’s Get Cylindrical”? “Speed is the word”? Whatever the theme could be, word came over this past weekend that multi-slash performer Olivia Newton-John—the actress/singer/activist/ survivor/author—will serve as the grand marshal of the Indianapolis 500 parade on May 26 in the city’s downtown. The event, which had grand marshal Anderson Cooper last year, draws as many as 300,000 parade-goers.

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Rutherford, Castroneves, and More at Sam Schmidt Foundation Gala

Speedway big-timers Johnny Rutherford, Helio Castrovenes, and Arie Luyendyk, Sr. came out last night for the 13th-annual Racing to Recovery Gala at the Dallara IndyCar Factory in Speedway, to help raise money for the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. If we’re honest, the term “gala” seems a little too fancy—it felt more like a friendly family reunion, as smiling Indy drivers (including Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, and Davey Hamilton) mingled easily with the avid racing fans and foundation supporters in attendance.

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The Driver's Seat: Alex Lloyd

The three best moments of my career came at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Carb Loading: Not Too Late for Andretti Dinner Rez

May Madness just learned this evening that a handful of tickets are still available to the exclusive Andretti Wine Dinner, to be held this Thursday (May 17, 7:30 p.m.) at Mo’s A Place for Steaks.

The tickets run $125 apiece. You get a four-course meal, pairings from the Andretti Winery in Napa Valley, and a photo-op meet-and-greet with racing legend Mario Andretti.

While supplies last.

Mo’s A Place for Steaks: 47 S. Pennsylvania St., 624-0720

 

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Guy Fieri Hearts Indy

Last week May Madness reported that celeb chef Guy Fieri was rumored to be leading the pack of potential pace-car drivers for this year’s Indy 500, and IMS officials confirmed it with an announcement today.

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