Ever wonder what would happen if Indianapolis 500 Mile Race contenders from 1911 until 2003 had a chance to race one another? You can find out next Sunday, April 4th when Indianapolis radio station WIBC-AM and its website www.WIBC.com broadcast...
Ever wonder what would happen if Indianapolis 500 Mile Race contenders from 1911 until 2003 had a chance to race one another?
You can find out next Sunday, April 4th when Indianapolis radio station WIBC-AM and its website www.WIBC.com broadcast the Fantasy 500, sponsored by local car dealer Bill Estes Chevrolet and presented by the American Dairy Association.
Using live race calls by current members of the IMS Radio Network and accompanied by Indy 500 radio broadcasts through the years, WIBC on-air personality Dave "The King" Wilson will coordinate a race that could pit Ray Harroun against Al Unser Jr., Michael Andretti passing his father Mario or even Wilbur Shaw racing Helio Castroneves for a typical IRL photo finish on the final lap.
Wilson had this crazy idea to broadcast the Fantasy 500 - an imaginary 500- mile classic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - and got most everyone currently involved in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing's current broadcast involved.
Starting with a two-hour pre pre-race show at 8AM EST on the 4th, as Wilson and WIBC cohorts Jeff Pigeon and Terri Stacy will give a run-down on the field - just as they do during the month of May. "Big John" Gillis will provide Fantasy 500 traffic reports as the virtual crowd gathers around the famed 2.5-mile oval.
Wilson enlisted fellow IMS Radio Network staff Mike King, the "Voice of the 500" who calls the race as lead announcer each May and IMS historian Donald Davidson to call the Fantasy 500 with him during the program that starts with the traditional one-hour pre-race show at 10AM.
The trio then takes on the three-hour "race" at 11AM EST, but there will be a "rain delay" for the Indiana Pacers basketball game at 11:26AM and will go back to broadcast after the game at about 3:30PM. Wilson and Davidson will close with a one-hour post-race show beginning at 6PM featuring the duo answering questions emailed by listeners to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 33-car Fantasy 500 starting grid features notable winners of the Indianapolis 500 along with skilled and popular drivers who came oh-so- close on many occasions.
Winners include inaugural champion Ray Harroun from 1911 to Helio Castroneves, the architect of back-to-back wins in 2001-2. Of course all three four-time victors - A.J. Foyt Jr., Al Unser and Rick Mears - will take part, virtually of course. The five three-time greats - Louis Meyer, Wilbur Shaw, Mauri Rose, Johnny Rutherford and Bobby Unser - are also part of the Fantasy 500 field.
Drivers getting another chance, alive or posthumous to claim a first Indianapolis 500 race include Rex Mays, Duke Nalon, Eddie Sachs, Lloyd Ruby and Michael Andretti, who retired last year as the driver who has led the most laps at Indianapolis without claiming victory.
Blasts from past radio broadcasts who called the Indianapolis 500 will be heard again a week from Sunday, as Sid Collins, Lou Palmer and Bob Jenkins, among others take the mike once more in the Fantasy 500.
Every year, nobody knows who will the Greatest Spectacle in Racing until the checkered flags fly.
This race among champions spanning 94 years of motorsports glory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will hit the airwaves beginning at 8 in the morning April 4th. Who will win? Only Dave Wilson and a few others know the results and they're not telling.
(As Indianapolis does not observe Daylight Savings Time, all hours quoted are Eastern Standard Time. Please adjust your listening hours accordingly).