INDY 500 RACE COUNTDOWN BEGINS WITH PUBLIC DRIVERS' MEETING INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 23, 2009 -- Drivers participating in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 received final instructions and awards May 23 in the Public Drivers' Meeting at the...
INDY 500 RACE COUNTDOWN BEGINS WITH PUBLIC DRIVERS' MEETING
INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 23, 2009 -- Drivers participating in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 received final instructions and awards May 23 in the Public Drivers' Meeting at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, May 24. The race will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network beginning at noon.
2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon and Target Chip Ganassi Racing owner Chip Ganassi accepted a "Baby Borg" trophy from Dan Casa Santa, president and general manager of Torque Transfer Systems and vice president of BorgWarner. Dixon also was presented with a $130,000 check from BorgWarner for his victory last year.
The Baby Borg is a miniature replica of the famed Borg-Warner Trophy, which bears the bas-relief likeness, name and average speed of every Indianapolis 500 winner.
Mark Emkes, chief executive officer of Firestone Racing, presented the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winning car owner's ring, made by Herff Jones, to Chip Ganassi.
In addition, Dixon was presented with the Louis Meyer Award commemorating his 2008 victory, sponsored by the American Dairy Association. Louis Meyer began the tradition of drinking milk in victory lane in 1936 when he drank buttermilk after his victory. Deb Osza, general manager of Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, presented Dixon with the award.
Mike Gorey, president of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operation Consumer Division, presented Raphael Matos with his Herff Jones championship ring for winning the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights title.
Continuing its longstanding tradition with the Indianapolis 500, Ken Keltner of Herff Jones presented each of the 33 starters of this year's race with their starter rings. Making his 64th Indianapolis 500 appearance, Indianapolis 500-winning car owner Andy Granatelli presented Michael Andretti with the STP Unsung Hero Award.
Marco Andretti accepted the award on behalf of his father, who has led 431 laps at Indianapolis, the most of any non-winning driver. Along with the award, Marco received a kiss on the cheek from Granatelli similar to that he placed on Marco's grandfather, Mario, in Victory Lane in 1969 after he drove Granatelli's car to victory.
"I've kissed your father. I've kissed your grandfather. I kissed you when you were a baby, and you get a kiss now," Granatelli said.
Brian Barnhart, president of competition and racing operations for the Indy Racing League, concluded the drivers' meeting by discussing race rules and guidelines with the drivers.
2009 IMS tickets: Established in 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has long prevailed as an icon of motorsports excellence. Beginning in 2009, the Speedway celebrates its Centennial Era, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the facility in 2009 and the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2011.
Tickets for the three events in 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- the Indianapolis 500, Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP -- can be purchased online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com at any time.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.