What To Do And What To Look For Before The 500

Speedway, IN (May 22, 2009) – Looks to be a beautiful weekend for the Indianapolis 500 and the events surrounding it. There are a multitude of things for the race fan to do. The Indy 500 Memorabilia Show on Friday and Saturday and the USAC Silver Crown race at the Indiana Fairgrounds Friday evening are two ‘can’t miss’ events. The popular Little 500 is at Anderson Speedway Saturday night and everyone whom has attended the event say it’s one of the best races they’ve ever attended.

Today is final practice for the big boys, its Carburetion Day, this where the drivers go out and practice (60 min.) for the final time before the Indianapolis 500. Also on deck is The Firestone Freedom 100 for the Indy Lites Series and the popular Indy 500 pit stop contest at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

One of things I’m looking forward to on raceday is a pre-race ceremonies featuring a special flyover of two vintage B-25 Mitchell bombers to honor Disabled American Veterans, the non-profit organization dedicated to helping wounded veterans. The B-25s, named Special Delivery and Take Off Time, are fully restored, World War II-era aircraft. These warbirds will twice pass over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway twice before the race.

ESPN will use 59 cameras to televise the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday on ABC fully in high definition, including a 360-degree rotating onboard camera mounted behind the driver on multiple cars. Unique views will be provided by Track Cam, a high definition camera running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch that can move at more than 80 mph.

All 33 cars will carry GPS boxes for the Sportvision RaceFX system to provide telemetry and pointers to help identify the cars for viewers. And ESPN will use a radio replay system that can record, playback and edit radios from any of the 33 drivers.

The one-hour pre-race show will include interviews with many of the 33 starting drivers as well as four special features, including a look at the roller-coaster year of polesitter Helio Castroneves; the special relationship between Danica Patrick and her father; the “Super Team” of Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti; and the Allure of Indy – why drivers will risk everything just to be able to compete in the Indy 500.

The 10th annual Racing to Recovery Gala sponsored by the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation raised more than $250,000 this year. The event, which included dinner and a live auction, attracted more than 500 people, including IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe, Raphael Matos, Ed Carpenter and Alex Lloyd, and Firestone Indy Lights drivers Ana Beatriz, James Hinchcliffe, Gustavo Yacaman and Wade Cunningham.

One of the most family-friendly events is the Indianapolis Festival Parade a.k.a the IPL 500 Festival Parade) in Downtown Indy on Saturday, May 23. Some interesting facts about the bands participating in the IPL 500 Festival Parade:

?7 – number of states from which bands are coming

?16 – number of marching bands

?25 – number of support vehicles used to carry equipment

?45 – number of volunteer band committee members (including attorneys, a doctor and a superior court judge)

?69 – number of buses carrying the marching band students, directors and chaperones

?1,025 – number of students attending the Band Party Luau at the Children’s Museum on Saturday night, May 23

?2,526 – number of marching band students

?$3,192,864 – Economic impact generated by the marching bands visiting Indianapolis

?13,640,400 – Number of steps these marching bands will take on the parade route

Share Button