IRL: IMS announces 2006 Indianapolis 500 theme

500 FESTIVAL, INDIANAPOLIS 500 TO 'CELEBRATE THE SPECTACLE' Exciting 2006 theme honors 90th running of world's greatest race INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006 -- As the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race marks its 90th running this year, it's time...

500 FESTIVAL, INDIANAPOLIS 500 TO 'CELEBRATE THE SPECTACLE'
Exciting 2006 theme honors 90th running of world's greatest race

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006 -- As the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race marks its 90th running this year, it's time to "Celebrate the Spectacle" with community events that span the entire month of May.

From marching bands, "Back Home Again in Indiana," the fly-over during pre-race ceremonies, the Mini-Marathon and the Parade to name a few, the month is filled with energy and celebration.

The command to start engines, with the roar of the cars heard over the cheers of the fans, followed by the balloon launch over the infield.

The fierce, close open-wheel racing for 500 miles among the best drivers in the world. The winner crossing the famed Yard of Bricks and drinking milk beside the gleaming Borg-Warner Trophy in Victory Lane, earning a place among Indy legends.

These traditions, and many others, are captured in the "Celebrate the Spectacle" theme for the month-long celebration leading up to the 90th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The "Celebrate the Spectacle" theme was announced Jan. 19 by Indianapolis Motor Speedway and 500 Festival officials. The theme will be prominent in local and national Indianapolis 500 advertising and promotional materials and 500 Festival event materials. It also will be an important part of the many events that take place in Indianapolis during the month of May.

Those events include the traditional start to month of May activities, the 30th Running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on Saturday, May 6 and also include American Family Insurance 500 Festival Community Day on Wednesday, May 24 at IMS and the IPL 500 Festival Parade on Saturday, May 27, to name a few. Track activity opens Sunday, May 7.

"The Indianapolis 500 is truly 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,' and it's only fitting that we 'Celebrate the Spectacle' during the 90th running of the event and all of the great events that lead up to Race Day," said Joie Chitwood, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and chief operating officer. "The tradition and excitement of the '500' is known and revered worldwide, and we are eager for another great month of May filled with special events and great racing."

Speedway and 500 Festival officials created the theme based on history, tradition and excitement of the Indianapolis 500 and all of its related activities during the month. The Indianapolis 500 has focused the attention of America and the world on Indianapolis every May since Ray Harroun won the inaugural "500" in 1911.

"The 500 Festival continues to be an integral part of the Indianapolis civic fabric, stretching far beyond our city's borders," said Al Wurster, chairman, 500 Festival Board of Directors. "With annual participation of more than 425,000 people and 7,000 volunteers who make it happen, it has become one of the largest festivals in the nation."

Said Kirk Hendrix, president and chief executive officer, 500 Festival: "Celebrate the Spectacle is testament to the partnerships that exist between the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the 500 Festival. So much energy and enthusiasm stirs in the city during the month of May."

Special artwork to be used with the "Celebrate the Spectacle" theme was unveiled during the announcement. A variety of classic race cars from the entire history of the Indianapolis 500 were on display at the Hall of Fame Museum, where the announcement took place.

2005 Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was among the special guests at the theme presentation. The sculpted image of Wheldon among all of the race's winners on the Borg-Warner Trophy was unveiled during the festivities.

Wheldon, his winning car and the Borg-Warner Trophy on the Yard of Bricks also are featured on the 2006 Indianapolis 500 ticket design, which also was revealed during the ceremony.

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Indy 500 tickets on sale: Tickets are on sale for the 2006 Indianapolis 500, the historic 90th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

All fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office. Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday, while online orders can be made at any time.

Ticket prices start at just $20.

500 Festival tickets: Tickets for 500 Festival events are available online at www.500festival.com or by calling (317) 614-6400.

-ims-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Wheldon