IRL: Indy 500 special helmet auction announced

AUCTION OF HELMET SIGNED BY INDY 500 WINNERS TO BENEFIT CHARITY INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, March 13, 2007 -- One of the most prized and unique pieces of motorsports memorabilia -- a racing helmet signed by all 25 living winners of the Indianapolis...

AUCTION OF HELMET SIGNED BY INDY 500 WINNERS TO BENEFIT CHARITY

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, March 13, 2007 -- One of the most prized and unique pieces of motorsports memorabilia -- a racing helmet signed by all 25 living winners of the Indianapolis 500 -- is up for auction in March, with all proceeds to benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp.

Award-winning veteran motorsports journalist Al Pearce created the idea of the auction and obtained all of the signatures on the helmet, either in person or through shipping the helmet across the United States.

Pearce covers NASCAR for leading automotive publication AutoWeek, which is assisting with the auction. Bids can be submitted via e-mail at apearce@crain.com, with bidding opening at $10,000. Bidders should include their name, address and telephone number.

The winning bidder will be informed in early April. As a special bonus, Pearce will keep the helmet updated if the winning bidder desires, obtaining signatures of new Indianapolis 500 winners and returning the helmet to the owner.

Drivers whose signatures appear on the helmet: Mario Andretti, Kenny Brack, Helio Castroneves, Eddie Cheever Jr., Gil de Ferran, Emerson Fittipaldi, A.J. Foyt, Sam Hornish Jr., Gordon Johncock, Parnelli Jones, Buddy Lazier, Arie Luyendyk, Rick Mears, Juan Pablo Montoya, Bobby Rahal, Jim Rathmann, Buddy Rice, Johnny Rutherford, Tom Sneva, Danny Sullivan, Al Unser, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser, Jacques Villeneuve and Dan Wheldon.

Pearce has conducted similar auctions of helmets with signatures of NASCAR Cup champions and Daytona 500 winners, with each auction raising thousands of dollars for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.

The Victory Junction Gang Camp enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, in a safe and medically sound environment. The racing-themed camp, located in the forests of the beautiful Piedmont Triad in North Carolina, was founded by NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and his wife, Pattie, in honor of their late son, Adam, and opened in June 2004.

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2007 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 91st Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 27, 2007.

Tickets can be purchased at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Web site, www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by phone or at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office. The IMS Ticket Office can be contacted at (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or (317) 492-6700 locally. Ticket Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Parking and camping permits for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" also can be purchased online, by phone or at the Ticket Office.

-credit: ims

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Series Charity , IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya