IRL: Indy 500: Honorary starters named

Colts' Head Coach, Indy Mayor among '500' Honorary Starters. INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 3, 2003 - An impressive lineup of celebrities and dignitaries is ready to wave the green flag to start each day of practice for the 87th Indianapolis 500,...

Colts' Head Coach, Indy Mayor among '500' Honorary Starters.

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 3, 2003 - An impressive lineup of celebrities and dignitaries is ready to wave the green flag to start each day of practice for the 87th Indianapolis 500, Speedway officials announced May 3.

The 87th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 25. Practice days using an honorary starter are May 4-9 and 14-17.

For the past two years, Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson has waved the green flag to start the practice on Indianapolis Star Opening Day, and he will do so Sunday, May 4.

Tony Dungy, head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, will wave the green flag Friday, May 16, while Joe Tiller, head football coach at Purdue University, will start practice Wednesday, May 14.

Nationally syndicated Indianapolis radio hosts Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold, who have played host to the hit morning show "The Bob and Tom Show" for more than 20 years, will serve as co-honorary starters on Thursday, May 8, while professional bowler Mike Aulby will wave the green flag on Wednesday, May 7. Aulby has 27 national titles to his credit.

Katie Gearlds, the 2003 Miss Basketball in the state of Indiana, will wave the green flag on Monday, May 5. Gearlds, from nearby Beech Grove, Ind., led Beech Grove High School to the 2003 state championship in Class 3A and will attend Purdue University in the fall. She was also named to the second team All-USA team by USA Today.

Also, "Boomer," the mascot for the Indiana Pacers, will serve as an honorary starter on Tuesday, May 6.

Todd Lickliter, head men's basketball coach at Butler University who led the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16 in the 2003 NCAA tournament, will wave the green flag during May, although a date has not been confirmed.

A limited number of reserved-seat Race Day tickets for the Indianapolis 500 remain available. General admission and reserved tickets for practice, qualifications and Race Day can be purchased on the World Wide Web via www.imstix.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700.

87th INDIANAPOLIS 500 HONORARY STARTER SCHEDULE: <pre> Date Honorary Starter Affiliation May 4 Bart Peterson City of Indianapolis May 5 Katie Gearlds 2003 Indiana Miss Basketball May 6 "Boomer" Indiana Pacers mascot May 7 Mike Aulby Professional bowler May 8 Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold Hosts, "The Bob and Tom Show" May 9 TBD May 14 Joe Tiller Head Football Coach, Purdue University May 15 TBD May 16 Tony Dungy Head Coach, Indianapolis Colts May 17 TBD

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Series IndyCar