IRL: Indy 500: IMS notebook 2006-05-25

90TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 NOTEBOOK Many celebrities walking red carpet Sunday; TV broadcast to be seen in 200-plus countries INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 25, 2006 -- The red carpet will roll out in Indianapolis this weekend as celebrities from around...

90TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 NOTEBOOK
Many celebrities walking red carpet Sunday; TV broadcast to be seen in 200-plus countries

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 25, 2006 -- The red carpet will roll out in Indianapolis this weekend as celebrities from around the world arrive in Indianapolis for a number of events surrounding the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

The festivities begin in earnest Friday, May 26 with Miller Lite Carb Day, featuring an afternoon concert co-headlined by the B-52's and Third Eye Blind. The nationally televised IPL 500 Festival Parade is Saturday, May 28, which precedes the Regions Bank 500 Festival Snake Pit Ball presented by Cindy & Paul Skjodt, a sold-out, black-tie gala event that evening featuring the music of KC and the Sunshine Band.

The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is scheduled for a 1 p.m. (ET) start Sunday, May 28 and will be broadcast live on the ABC television network and IMS Radio Network with pre-race coverage beginning at noon.

Headlining the list of celebrities is Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner who will drive the 2006 Chevrolet Z06 Corvette Pace Car on Race Day.

Three entertainment personalities expected to attend are also co-owners of IRL IndyCar Series teams: actor Patrick Dempsey, star of "Grey's Anatomy" and a co-owner of Vision Racing; David Letterman, host of "The Late Show with David Letterman" and co-owner of Rahal Letterman Racing; and NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony, co-owner of Carmelo Hemelgarn Racing.

Other celebrities and musical acts expected to attend the 90th Indianapolis 500 (listed in alphabetical order):
* Tim Allen, comedian and actor ("The Santa Clause," "Home Improvement")
* Yancey Arias, actor ("Kingpin")
* Gary Baxter, defensive back, Cleveland Browns
* Andre Berto, Olympic and professional boxer
* Rupert Boneham, "Survivor"
* Gordie Brown, comedian
* Sarah Wayne Callies, actress ("Prison Break")
* Jim Caviezel, actor ("The Passion of the Christ")
* Kim Coates, actor ("Black Hawk Down," "Pearl Harbor")
* Angie Everhart, model
* William Fichtner, actor ("Invasion," "Crash," "Black Hawk Down"
* Jorge Garcia, actor (Hurley on "Lost")
* Carmine Giovinazzo, actor ("CSI: NY")
* Florence Henderson, actress and singer
* Ed Herrmann, actor ("The Aviator")
* Ashley Judd, actress ("Heat," "High Crimes," "De-Lovely")
* Naomi Judd, musician
* Wynonna Judd, musician
* Robert Knepper, actor ("Prison Break")
* Jeanette Lee, a.k.a "The Black Widow," champion billiards player
* Sugar Ray Leonard, former world champion boxer
* Ludacris, musician and actor ("Crash")
* Michael Madsen, actor ("Reservoir Dogs")
* Richard Marx, musician
* Jim Nabors, actor and singer
* Pat O'Brien, television host ("Insider")
* Luke Perry, actor ("Beverly Hills, 90210")
* Oscar Robertson, Indiana and NBA basketball legend
* Shannon Sharpe, former All-Pro NFL tight end
* Gene Simmons, KISS rock star
* Staind, rock band
* Marc Summers, host, Food Network
* LaLa Vasquez, MTV VJ
* James Wilder, actor ("Melrose Place," "Models Inc.")

Several executives from the Academy Awards show will be in attendance, led by Sid Ganis, president of the Academy Awards. A number of stars from daytime television are scheduled to attend, including six actors from ABC daytime soap operas: Aiden Turner and Jeff Branson from "All My Children," Renee Goldsberry and Forbes March from "One Life to Live" and Greg Vaughan and Jason Thompson from "General Hospital." Don Diamont of "The Young and the Restless" is also scheduled to attend.

Many celebrities will participate in the 500 Festival Parade and Snake Pit Ball on Saturday, and walk the red carpet into the Bombardier Pagoda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Race Day from 10-10:30 a.m., followed by a VIP lap around the famed 2.5-mile IMS oval at 11:45 a.m.

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Race on TV in more than 200 countries: ESPN, the exclusive worldwide television representative of the IndyCar® Series and the Indianapolis 500, will televise the Indianapolis 500 live to 139 countries and territories outside of the United States.

ESPN's international networks will televise the race throughout Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim.

The green flag falls on the 33-car starting field of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

ESPN is also responsible for the global syndication of the Indy 500 for live broadcast in the Baltic States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In addition, ESPN will distribute the Indy 500 to the American Forces Network serving military personnel stationed in 176 countries and U.S. territories. In the United States, the Indy 500 will be telecast live to a nationwide audience on ABC Sports.

When combined with ESPN's international distribution efforts, the estimated worldwide total for the Indy 500 will reach more than 200 countries and over 340 million households worldwide.

ESPN will have two separate teams broadcasting the race in Spanish and English. Spanish-language announcers will be veteran broadcaster Andres Agulla and Alex Pombo; Gary Lee and Larry Rice will provide commentary in English.

ESPNdeportes.com, the company's Spanish-language Web site, also will provide comprehensive coverage of the Indy 500 by offering live Real Time results of race action, daily columns from ESPN reporters and commentators, chats with ESPN personalities, a full pre- and post-race photo gallery, video clips and more.

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Vintage cars on display: Indianapolis 500 fans will receive a healthy dose of nostalgia when more than 30 vintage Indy cars converge on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the days leading up to the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

Cars representing numerous eras of the Indianapolis 500's long and storied history will take several laps around the legendary 2.5-mile IMS oval at approximately 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 27, just minutes before the start of the Indianapolis 500 Public Drivers' Meeting, which will take place at the south end of the Tower Terrace grandstands along the Speedway's main straightaway.

Some of the diverse collection of cars and replicas scheduled to appear at the Speedway include a 1909 Stoddard Dayton, 1935 Miller Ford, 1948 six-wheel Pat Clancy Special, 1968 Lotus Turbine "Wedge" and three examples of 1981-model Indy cars: the Coyote, Penske and Wildcat.

When the cars aren't on track, they will be on display beneath a tent located in the east parking lot of the IMS Hall of Museum on Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27 during open public gate hours.

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

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.-6 p.m. (ET) Monday-Sunday during May, with special hours of 6 a.m.-1 p.m. on Race Day. Online orders can be made at any time.

Ticket prices start at just $20.

-ims-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jason Thom , Patrick Dempsey , William Fichtner