Indiana Racing Memorial Association fundraiser this Saturday

IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter, Al Unser, Jr. among those scheduled to appear.

The Indiana Racing Memorial Association (IRMA) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum have collected some exciting items for a silent auction that will be part of IRMA's first fundraiser ever this Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the museum on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

The event, called "A Night to Remember," is open to the public. Tickets can be obtained for a $100 donation to IRMA via credit cards or PayPal on the group's Web site at IndianaRacing.org, or by visiting the museum's ticket counter. Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the event. 

IRMA is a not-for-profit association organized last December to place markers throughout the state in recognition of the significant role Indiana citizens, tracks, businesses and events have played in motorsports history. 

Attendees who arrive before dark can go for a ride around the 2.5-mile track in a vintage pace car as part of the festivities on a first-come, first-served basis. Two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. will be the driver of that pace car for individuals who make an additional $250 donation.

Legends to appear 

IndyCar star Ed Carpenter plans to attend the fundraiser, as do USAC stars Tom Bigelow, Mel Kenyon and Johnny Parsons. Dave Darland was also scheduled to participate, but Parsons will substitute for him since an extra date was unexpectedly added to Darland's racing schedule for that same evening. "The People's Champion" regrets that he can't attend, and he has offered to take some lucky bidder to dinner as a contribution to the event's silent auction. 

Kent Benson and Bobby Wilkerson, members of Indiana University's 1975-1976 NCAA Division 1 championship-winning, unbeaten men's basketball team, have indicated they're coming. They're offering a dinner and an autographed basketball for the silent auction too. 

Some of the other exciting silent auction items include:

* a high-speed ride in an Indy Racing Experience two-seater Indy car;

* a Bell helmet signed by Al Unser Jr. and other drivers attending the fundraiser;

* framed Ron Burton prints autographed by the artist;

* other artwork donated by the IMS Hall of Fame Museum;

* very rare Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network posters, including one from the inaugural Brickyard 400;

* an autographed photo of Al Unser Jr. when he conducted one of the first tests of a starter on a USAC midget at the Hoosier Dome indoor midget race;

* a wrench from the personal collection of master mechanic George Bignotti;

* a rare, 1:18-scale Parnelli Jones/Fike Plumbing Special diecast sprint car;

* a Tony Stewart Home Depot remote-control car;

* two Jeff Gordon diecast cars;

* a Havoline diecast stock car signed by Juan Pablo Montoya;

* a NASCAR Nationwide Series cap signed by Kyle Busch;

* Legends autograph cards signed by Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti;

* a bottle of Jim Beam whiskey signed by Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe;

* a Traxxas remote-control truck;

* a Red Bull Moto GP banner;

* several racing books autographed by the authors; and

* other items such as posters, caps, apparel and bobbleheads.

Wilbur Shaw tribute

The event will also feature a brief tribute to the late Wilbur Shaw by historian Donald Davidson; photos with the Borg-Warner trophy and a trip to the famous yard of bricks. The Winchester Speedway Barbershop Quartet will also provide entertainment, and a film about Shaw will be available for viewing in the museum's theater. 

The menu for the event was originally hors d'oeuvres, but due to the generosity of the popular restaurant chain Yats, a selection of its delicious Cajun Creole food will now be served. Wine, beer and soda are included in the price of a ticket, and mixed drinks will be available for an additional cost.

 The attire is business casual.

 Due to construction of a new roundabout, the intersection of Crawfordsville Road, Georgetown Road and 16th Street is temporarily closed to through traffic. Attendees coming from the west are encouraged to use the 10th Street exit of I-465 and then follow 10th Street east and Polco Street north to reach the speedway instead of Crawfordsville Road. 

Fans who aren't able to attend the fundraiser may still make a donation in any amount or join IRMA through the organization's Web site at IndianaRacing.org. All major credit cards and PayPal are accepted. A one-year's membership in IRMA, which costs $25, is included in the $100 price of each fundraiser ticket.

Additional information about IRMA is available on the group's Facebook page and Twitter account.

Linda Mansfield

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Article type Breaking news
Tags donald davidson, george bignotti, indidnapolis motor speedway, irma, wilbur shaw