IRL: Indy 500: IMS to salute US troops during May

91ST INDIANAPOLIS 500 TO SALUTE MILITARY THROUGHOUT MONTH OF MAY INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 4, 2007 -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will continue its tradition of honoring the United States Armed Forces during the Month of May through a...

91ST INDIANAPOLIS 500 TO SALUTE MILITARY THROUGHOUT MONTH OF MAY

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 4, 2007 -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will continue its tradition of honoring the United States Armed Forces during the Month of May through a variety of activities and ceremonies at the 91st Indianapolis 500.

One of the highlights of the tribute is Armed Forces Day on Sunday, May 20, the "Bump Day" of final qualifying for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Military members in uniform or with a valid military ID will be admitted to the track free of charge that day. U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) will preside over an enlistment ceremony during which men and women will officially be inducted into the U.S. military.

Indianapolis 500 race cars and race team equipment also will carry decals for the "America Supports You" program on Armed Forces Day. IMS and the U.S. Department of Defense have teamed up to honor the troops through "America Supports You," a nationwide initiative to showcase and communicate America's support for the United States Armed Forces and their families, for the third consecutive year.

The military also will take a prominent role in pre-race ceremonies on Race Day, Sunday, May 27.

Hundreds of troops will take a lap in a Chevrolet vehicle or march on the famed 2.5-mile IMS oval, and service personnel from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard will sing the national anthem shortly before the race.

The pre-race fly-over, one of the most awe-inspiring portions of the pre-race ceremonies, will be conducted by four F-22 Raptor jets from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

Other military-related activities during May at IMS include T-shirt and dog tag sales to benefit Homes for Our Troops, an organization that provides specially adapted homes for seriously wounded soldiers. T-shirts are $20, with dog tags $5 or free with the purchase of a T-shirt. Both will be sold in the Plaza on Pole Day, Saturday, May 12; Coca-Cola Throwback Day/Third Day Qualifying, Saturday, May 19; Armed Forces Day/Bump Day Qualifying, Sunday, May 20; American Family Insurance 500 Festival Community Day, Wednesday, May 23; and Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, May 25.

A dinner for the Air National Guard also is scheduled for Friday, May 18 in the Plaza Pavilion.

Military dignitaries also are scheduled to visit the Speedway during May.

Major General R. Martin Umbarger of the Indiana Air National Guard and Major General John Hester will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the United States Air Force. General Chuck Yeager, the first person to break the sound barrier, will take part in the IPL 500 Festival Parade on Saturday, May 26 and in the pre-race ceremonies for the 91st Indianapolis 500.

IMS also takes part in the 500 Festival Memorial Service presented by Rolls-Royce on Friday, May 25 on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis.

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2007 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 91st Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 27.

Tickets can be purchased at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Web site, www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by phone or at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office. The IMS Ticket Office can be contacted at (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or (317) 492-6700 locally. Ticket Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Parking and camping permits for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" also can be purchased online, by phone or at the Ticket Office.

-credit: ims

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Series IndyCar