Indy 500, Brickyard 400 Stars To Carry Olympic Torch At IMS
Public welcome to view torch running from Speedway infield
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Jan. 4, 2002 - Indianapolis 500 champions, Indy Racing League champions, and stars from Indy Racing and the Brickyard 400 will participate in the Olympic Torch relay as it makes its way through Indianapolis on Jan. 7-8.
Indy Racing drivers Davey Hamilton and Sarah Fisher are scheduled to carry the torch the evening of Jan. 7 as it arrives in downtown Indianapolis.
Eddie Cheever Jr. and Helio Castroneves, the 1998 and 2001 Indianapolis 500 champions, respectively, will join Sam Hornish Jr., the 2001 Indy Racing League champion, in carrying the torch around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval starting a few minutes after 7 a.m. (EST) Jan. 8.
Tony Stewart, the 1996-97 Indy Racing League champion and current NASCAR star, will join fellow NASCAR standout and Indianapolis 500 veteran John Andretti, in carrying the torch after it exits the Speedway. Stewart is a native of Columbus, Ind., and Andretti hails from Indianapolis.
The event marks the first time the Olympic Torch - which is en route to Salt Lake City for the XIX Winter Olympic Games - will take a lap around the historic 2.5-mile oval. The torch for the 1996 Summer Olympics was brought to the track but did not tour the facility.
Hornish will begin the ceremonial laps at the Speedway at 7 a.m. by driving the torch around the track in a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche. After completing a lap, Hornish will turn the vehicle over to Castroneves.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George will carry the torch from the "Yard of Bricks" at the start-finish line into Turn 1 and will hand it off to Cheever. Cheever will carry the torch into the infield and exit the track through Tunnel 2, the track's main entrance onto 16th Street.
At the tunnel exit, Cheever will hand the torch to Andretti, who will hand the torch to Stewart near the intersection of 16th Street and Georgetown Road. Stewart will carry the torch north on Georgetown Road for two-tenths of a mile.
The public is welcome to park in the Hall of Fame Museum parking lot and view the torch running from the Speedway's South Terrace grandstands, located in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission and parking is free of charge.
Various Speedway-owned parking lots along Georgetown Road will be open to the public. Several of the lots are not paved, and will be opened weather permitting.