Telephone Ticket Orders for U.S. 500 Begin March 4

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 1, 1996) -- Telephone ticket sales for the inaugural U.S. 500 at Michigan International Speedway will begin Monday, March 4, event general manager Rena Shanaman announced today in a press conference at the IndyCar season-opening Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami, presented by Toyota. As an added convenience for IndyCar fans, U.S. 500 tickets will also be available from TicketMaster outlets and phone locations throughout the Midwest beginning March 4.

The U.S. 500 ticket office will be open for orders at 800-452-0950 beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET on March 4. Although advance mail orders and corporate blocks have been processed since mid-January, plenty of first-class reserved grandstand seats, general admission tickets and infield RV passes are still available. Tickets come in six price categories for adults and range from $35 (Concourse Turn 4) to $70 (Deluxe main grandstand). Infield tickets ($30) and pit passes ($25) also are on sale.

"One of the true benefits of Michigan International Speedway is that you have a great view from any seat around the track," Shanaman said. "There isn't a bad seat in the house and the infield viewing is among the best in the country. We couldn’t ask for a better venue than MIS to host the historic first running of the U.S. 500."

Among the outstanding seats available are the grandstands in Turn 4 near pit-in. Spectators can see nearly the entire track in addition to following team and driver pit-stop strategies throughout the 500-mile race. A limited number of front straight grandstand seats also are available. Also, a special section of prime location seats has been reserved exclusively for sale to Canadian IndyCar fans.

Prior to this Monday, tickets have been available only through mail order. Preferred customer order forms were sent to members of IndyCar’s Winner's Circle (fan) Club, priority callers on the IndyCar Hotline and the large customer base of IndyCar’s other 15 racing events. These advance orders began January 18, and requests for U.S. 500 tickets have been continuous and overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

"The mail-order ticket program rewarded both IndyCar’s and our promoters' best customers while other U.S. 500 seats have been reserved for the event's many corporate sponsors," Shanaman said, "Still, enough outstanding seats are available for sale. We are delighted that so many fans and sponsors have unified in support of the U.S. 500."

Upholding the tradition of Memorial Day weekend auto racing, the inaugural U.S. 500 will feature IndyCar's top stars, including Al Unser, Jr., Bobby Rahal, Emerson Fittipaldi, Michael Andretti, Scott Goodyear, Scott Pruett and Paul Tracy, racing at more than 230 miles per hour in state-of-the-art cars. Overall, drivers expected to compete have tallied more than 125 Indy Car victories and 100 poles.

The site of the new 500-mile race, Michigan International Speedway, has played host to more IndyCar events (26) than any other track and is home to the fastest laps ever run in Indy Car history. Mario Andretti ran a lap of 234.275 mph during qualifying for the Marlboro 500 in 1993, while Parker Johnstone registered a race lap of more than 231 mph on the 2-mile oval this past season. The fastest race in Indy Car history also was run on the Brooklyn track with Unser Jr. winning the Marlboro 500 in 1990 with an average speed of 189.727.

U.S. 500 ticket office hours are 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or interested fans can visit a midwestern TicketMaster outlet. Tickets and brochures can also be ordered through the mail by writing to the U.S. 500 tickets, P.O. Box 500, Brooklyn, MI 49230, or by fax, at (517) 592-8445.