CHAMPCAR/CART: Vanderbilt Cup and Michigan fact sheet

THE INAUGURAL U.S. 500 & THE VANDERBILT CUP FACT SHEET NEW YORK (April 25, 1996) -- The winner of the Inaugural U.S. 500 at Michigan International Speedway, Sunday May 26th, will be awarded $1 million and a recreation of one of auto racing's ...

THE INAUGURAL U.S. 500 & THE VANDERBILT CUP FACT SHEET

NEW YORK (April 25, 1996) -- The winner of the Inaugural U.S. 500 at Michigan International Speedway, Sunday May 26th, will be awarded $1 million and a recreation of one of auto racing's oldest and most prestigious prizes, the Vanderbilt Cup. A rendering of the recreated Cup was previewed at a fund-raising luncheon at the Plaza Hotel in New York City by IndyCar for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, April 25th. The unveiling was conducted by IndyCar President and CEO Andrew Craig and auto-racing superstar Mario Andretti.

The Race

The Inaugural U.S. 500 airs live on ESPN on Sunday May 25th at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The 500 mile race is preceded by a qualifying weekend May 10-12 and final practice on May 24th and 25th. The race is round six of 16 in the PPG IndyCar World Series which is sanctioned by IndyCar. Fans interested in purchasing tickets to the U.S. 500 can order by phone at 1-800-452-0950; by mail by writing to: U.S. 500 Tickets, P.O. Box 500, Brooklyn, MI 49230; by fax at 517-592-8445, or via TicketMaster outlets throughout the Midwest.

The Track

The U.S. 500 will be run on the world's fastest race track, Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. Mario Andretti's 1994 qualifying lap of 234.275 mph at MIS is a world record.

The Drivers

The world's top IndyCar drivers will compete for the Vanderbilt Cup in the Inaugural U.S. 500 including Al Unser Jr., Michael Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Scott Pruett, Robby Gordon, Christian Fittipaldi, Raul Boesel, Jeff Krosnoff, Gil de Ferran and more. All will attempt to join the list of Vanderbilt Cup winners that includes auto racing legends like Ralph DePalma, Bernd Rosemeyer, Tazio Nuvolari and Dario Resta.

The History

The U.S. 500 will uphold the tradition of Memorial Day weekend auto racing competition in the United States. In the spirit of the Vanderbilt Cup races, the U.S. 500 will see America host an international race among the world's best drivers and cars.

First presented in 1904, the original Vanderbilt Cup, like its recreation, was made by Tiffany's. As on the original, on one side of the Cup appears a likeness of its founder and namesake William Kissam Vanderbilt, Jr. behind the wheel of his 90 horsepower Mercedes on the beach at Ormond, Fla. in 1904. A pioneer and proponent of international motorsports, Mr. George Vanderbilt conducted 11 Vanderbilt Cup races between 1904 and 1916 (no races were run in 1907 or 1913). His nephew George Vanderbilt rekindled the family tradition with a pair of races for the Cup in 1936 and 1937, but the U.S. 500 will mark the first time in nearly 60 years that a Vanderbilt Cup trophy will be presented to the winner of an international automobile race.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Raul Boesel , Bobby Rahal , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Scott Pruett , Mario Andretti , Ralph DePalma , Jeff Krosnoff , Tazio Nuvolari