IPS: IRL: Indianapolis month of May events preview

89th INDIANAPOLIS 500 EVENT HAPPENINGS INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 4, 2005 -- Event happenings leading up to and during the 89th Indianapolis 500 on May 8-29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: INDY RACING LEAGUE INDYCAR SERIES SCHEDULE (all...

89th INDIANAPOLIS 500 EVENT HAPPENINGS

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 4, 2005 -- Event happenings leading up to and during the 89th Indianapolis 500 on May 8-29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

INDY RACING LEAGUE INDYCAR SERIES SCHEDULE (all times local):

Several positive changes will greet Indianapolis 500 fans for the 89th running of the event, including a new start time for the race, a return to four days of qualifying and a switch from Thursday to Friday for Miller Lite Carb Day.

The 2005 Indianapolis 500 will start at noon Sunday, May 29, one hour later than its previous start time. MBNA Pole Day Qualifying takes place from noon-6 p.m. Saturday, May 14. RubberQueen Second-Day Qualifying takes place from noon-6 p.m. Sunday, May 15. Third-Day Qualifying is scheduled for noon-6 p.m. Saturday, May 21 and Bump Day Qualifying takes place from noon-6 p.m. Sunday, May 22.

Indystar.com Opening Day/Rookie Orientation Program is scheduled for noon-5 p.m. Sunday, May 8. The second day of ROP takes place from noon-5 p.m. Monday, May 9.

Regular practice for all Indianapolis 500 entrants begins Tuesday, May 10, and continues May 11-13 and 18-20, with track activity from noon-6 p.m. each day. Additional practice sessions are from 9-11 a.m. on MBNA Pole Day and 10:15-11:15 a.m. on the three other qualifying days.

Miller Lite Carb Day is Friday, May 27, with a final, one-hour practice for the Indianapolis 500 starting field leading off the day's activities from 11 a.m.-noon.

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MENARDS INFINITI PRO SERIES SCHEDULE (all times local):

The Futaba Freedom 100 is now part of an exciting day full of activities on Miller Lite Carb Day, and the third running of the race takes place at 12:30 p.m. Friday, May 27. Qualifying and practice are scheduled for Thursday, May 26, with practice sessions from 10-10:45 a.m., noon-12:45 p.m. and 4:40-5 p.m. Qualifying takes place at 2:15 p.m. Tickets for Miller Lite Carb Day are $10, and admission is free May 26.

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ON THE AIR (all times Eastern Daylight):

Television: The 89th Indianapolis 500 will be televised live on ABC at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, May 29. A one-hour pre-race show will start at noon on ABC.

MBNA Pole Day Qualifying will be broadcast live from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, May 14 on ESPN, from 4-6 p.m. on ABC and from 6-7 p.m. on ESPN2. RubberQueen Second-Day Qualifying will be broadcast live from 1-4 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. Sunday, May 15 on ESPN2. Third-Day Qualifying coverage will be live from 5-6 p.m. Saturday, May 21 on ESPN, and from 6-7 p.m. on ESPN2. Bump Day Qualifying will be broadcast live from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, May 22 on ABC and from 5-7 p.m. on ESPN2.

Highlights from Miller Lite Carb Day Practice, the Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge and Futaba Freedom 100 will be shown from 2-4 p.m. Friday, May 27 on ESPN2.

ESPN2 will broadcast "SportsCenter at the Indianapolis 500," live from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 6:30-7 p.m. May 9-13, 16-20 and 23-27. ESPN2 will broadcast highlights of the 500 Festival Parade from 6-8 p.m. May 28."The Season: Indy 500," a recap of the 89th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," will air on ESPN on June 11 from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Radio: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network will broadcast a one-hour Indianapolis 500 pre-race show at noon (EDT) Sunday, May 29, followed by the live race broadcast at 1 p.m.

The entire Race Day broadcast also will be available on XM Satellite Radio channel 152.

A Pole Day qualification show will air live from 1-3 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. Saturday, May 14. Second-Day, Third-Day and Bump Day Qualifying shows will broadcast from 1-2 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. Sunday, May 15, Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22, respectively. A Miller Lite Carb Day Recap show will air from 6-7 p.m. Friday, May 27.

"Indy Live" interview talk shows will take place from 9-10 p.m. May 10, 12, 19 and 26, and a special "Happy Hour at Indy" show will be broadcast from 6-7 p.m. on "Fast Friday," May 13 -- the day before MBNA Pole Qualifying.

All radio broadcasts also will be available at www.indyracing.com and www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

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TICKETS AND BADGES:

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 at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700.

All seating at the Speedway during all practice days, qualification days and Miller Lite Carb Day is general admission, and tickets will be available at the Speedway Ticket Office and entrance gates. Prices are $5 for practice and $10 for qualifications and Carb Day.

Fans can also purchase a collectible Bronze Badge credential, which provides gate and garage access from May 8-28 (excludes Race Day). Badges are $100 per person. Call (317) 492-6500 for information.

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SECURITY MEASURES:

The following security guidelines have been established for the month of May for fans entering the Speedway:

* Strict enforcement of rules limiting any coolers carried in to no more than 14 inches wide by 14 inches high.

* All coolers, backpacks and handbags will be subject to security inspection at the gates of the Speedway.

* Additional uniformed officers will be stationed at each gate to monitor inspections.

A number of other measures will be employed on the grounds to tighten security during the month and on Race Day May 29, but details will not be released. Fans attending on Race Day should plan to arrive as early as possible.

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ON THE WEB:

Live timing-and-scoring reports from Indianapolis 500 practice, qualifying and race will be available on the Internet at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com and www.indycar.com. The Live Timing and Scoring module provides statistical information, including track segment speeds, lap information and much more.

Feature stories, practice, race and qualifying reports, driver quotes, trackside notes, audio clips and photos will be posted on the sites each day. The sites also will provide periodic on-track updates throughout each day of track activity.

New for 2005 are video highlights from each day, plus fans can view and purchase the Indianapolis 500 Photo of the Day, a collection of memorable drivers, cars and moments from the 89-year history of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Mobile updates also will be available. Users can receive daily Indy Racing League information updates to their mobile devices, such as personal digital assistants and mobile phones, for free after completing a quick, complimentary registration at www.indycar.com.

Also available at the Indianapolis 500 section of www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com are historical images of past Pace Cars, race cars and drivers, box scores for every Indianapolis 500 dating back to 1911 and Daily Trackside Reports from 1968-2003.

IMS Radio Network broadcasts of event activities can be heard at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com and www.indycar.com, and exciting new products are available for purchase at the Online Gift Store at the same Web sites.

Tickets, camping and hotel information, as well as directions on how to purchase Bronze Badges that provide fans with month-long (except Race Day) grounds and garage area access is available at the Indy 500 section of www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

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MAYORS BREAKFAST:

The annual Indianapolis Life 500 Festival Mayors Breakfast & Queen Coronation, featuring mayors and community leaders from around Indiana, will take place at 10 a.m. (local time) May 21 at the Plaza Pavilion, located in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield directly behind the Bombardier Pagoda.

Brent Musburger, the legendary ABC sports television personality who will host the 89th Indianapolis 500 broadcast, will deliver the keynote address, while the 2005 500 Festival Queen will be crowned from the field of 33 princesses. Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson also will provide remarks. Ticket information is available by calling the 500 Festival at (800) 638-4296.

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IT'S AN EXPERIENCE:

The IndyCar Series Fan Experience, a set of exciting, interactive entertainment properties for fans, will be at various spots on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway throughout the month.

The complete IndyCar Series Fan Experience will be at IMS on May 8-11, 13-14, 20-22 and 25-29. It will appear at Military Park in downtown Indianapolis as part of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on Saturday, May 7, at the Hometown Tourism Expo/WIBC Toro Fast Track race at Monument Circle from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, May 12 and at the Bank One 500 Festival Kids' Day from noon-4 p.m. Sunday, May 15 at Monument Circle.

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OPEN FOR BUSINESS:

Children age 12 and younger will be admitted to the Speedway grounds free of charge on indystar.com Opening Day on Sunday, May 8. Tickets for adults are $5 and are available on a two-for-one basis by presenting a coupon from advertisements running in The Indianapolis Star on May 1, May 6 and May 8.

Fans that arrive early on indystar.com Opening Day will receive a free indystar.com/Indianapolis 500 collectible trading pin courtesy of The Star. Gates open to the public at 9 a.m., and pin distribution begins at 11 a.m. at Formula One garage No. 34, just south of the Bombardier Pagoda.

Opening Day is also the first day of the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program, with ROP scheduled for noon-5 p.m. The band "Living Proof" will perform on the Coca-Cola Stage at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

There will be a question and answer session with 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice at 2 p.m. at the Coca-Cola Stage.

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AUTOGRAPHS:

Three IndyCar Series driver autograph sessions are scheduled in May:

* 3 p.m. on indystar.com Opening Day, May 8, in the Pagoda Plaza

* 3-5 p.m. on 500 Festival Community Day, May 26, in the garage area

* 9-10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28 in the Pagoda Plaza, before the Public Drivers' Meeting.

Former Indianapolis 500 drivers will sign autographs in the Pagoda Plaza at 1 p.m. on May 21. The drivers represent the 1980 Indianapolis 500 starting field, commemorating the 25th anniversary of that event, and include three-time "500" winner Bobby Unser, Gary Bettenhausen, Johnny Parsons, Spike Gehlhausen and others.

Tom Carnegie, the legendary IMS Public Address announcer who will call his 60th Indianapolis 500 this year, will sign autographs from 2-3 p.m. in the Pagoda Plaza on Friday, May 13, which is also "Tom Carnegie Day" at the Speedway.

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TOURISM AND TRACKS ON MONUMENT CIRCLE:

WIBC-AM 1070 and the Indianapolis Convention and Visitor's Association will present the "Hometown Tourism Expo with the Toro Fast Track Race on the Circle" from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 at Monument Circle, located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Admission is free.

WIBC's event will feature a number of Indy 500-themed attractions, including the IndyCar Series Fan Experience, Indy 500 show cars, vintage race cars and other attractions. 500 Festival princesses will also participate.

There will be a Toro tractor race around the Circle with WIBC radio personalities.

The ICVA event celebrates National Tourism Week. Local tourism and hospitality representatives will be on hand to pass out information about the hundreds of tourist attractions in Indiana, including notable attractions such as IMS, the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers and various museums and restaurants.

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SALUTE TO THE ARMED FORCES:

The annual IMS Armed Forces Day salute to America's military heroes is scheduled for Sunday, May 22, which is also Bump Day qualifying day. Any present or past member of the U.S. Armed Forces in uniform will be admitted to the track for free.

The Armed Forces also will be honored during a ceremony at 11:15 a.m. (local time). Fans arriving early will receive a free General Motors/Chevrolet Corvette Indianapolis 500 Official Pace Car collectible trading pin. The band Crew will provide live musical entertainment on the Coca-Cola Stage at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

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FOR A GOOD CAUSE:

The annual "Racing to Recovery Gala," a benefit for the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, will take place from 6-10 p.m. Monday, May 16 at Eddie Merlot's Restaurant, 3645 E. 96th St. in Indianapolis.

The event features a lavish strolling dinner buffet, cocktails, a silent auction and live auction of sports memorabilia and artwork, and other one-of-a-kind items.

Top IndyCar Series drivers, team owners and officials will attend the event, and for 2005, Andretti Green Racing team co-owner Michael Andretti will receive the "Legendary Driver Award" for his accomplishments in a championship driving career that spanned more than two decades.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is title sponsor, and presenting sponsors are the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, Andretti Green Racing, Raymond James and Associates, Standard Management and HomeMed Pharmacy.

Tickets are $100 per person. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (317) 450-2070 or send payment to: Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation/Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, 4141 Shore Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46254. Include the names of persons attending and a contact address and e-mail.

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CHRISTIAN MUSIC ON STAGE AT COCA-COLA FAMILY FUN DAY:

Three popular contemporary Christian music acts will perform throughout the afternoon of Saturday, May 21 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Coca-Cola Stage, located in the plaza behind the Bombardier Pagoda control tower. In addition to the third day of qualifications for the Indianapolis 500, May 21 is also Coca-Cola Family Fun Day.

The triple-headlining concert features: Essential Records recording artist Bebo Norman, a past recipient of the Gospel Music Association's prized Dove Award; Word Records recording artist Fernando Ortega; and INO Records recording artist Sara Groves. All three concerts are free with the price of admission to the grounds. Music begins at 2 p.m. (local time).

Admission for May 21 is $10 per person and free for children ages 5 and younger. Tickets are available at the gate or online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com. Information also is available at the IMS ticket office or by calling (800) 822-INDY.

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FRONT ROW PARTY:

The Average Joe's Front Row Party, honoring the elite first-row qualifiers for the 89th Indianapolis 500, will take place from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. (local time) Tuesday, May 24 at Average Joe's Sports Pub, 814 Broad Ripple Ave., Indianapolis.

Complimentary appetizers and drink specials will be available, and a charity auction at 9 p.m. will benefit the Racing for Kids program. Popular local music group "Dave and Rae" will perform at 10:30 p.m. Cover charge is $5. Call (317) 253-5844 for more information.

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TAKE A LAP ON COMMUNITY DAY; ENJOY A HOST OF ACTIVITIES:

American Family Insurance 500 Festival Community Day will take place Wednesday, May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, offering fans the chance to drive their personal car around the track one time and also get autographs from Indy Racing League drivers.

Gates open at 9 a.m., and the Public Track Lap lasts from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fans must enter the IMS grounds from the 30th Street entrance for the track lap.

The driver autograph session takes place from 3-5 p.m. in Gasoline Alley, which will be open to the public from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., along with pit lane.

Community Day activities will appeal to fans of all ages, with the following events and attractions planned:

* Tour Indy Racing League car transport trailers, and the timing and scoring suite in the Bombardier Pagoda.

* From the time the gates open, fans can attempt to qualify for the Indy 500 Video Game Challenge at the IndyCar Series Fan Experience video game simulator, located in the Pagoda Plaza area. At 12:30 p.m., the fastest fans will race against IndyCar Series drivers.

* Fans can get photos of themselves in a simulated Victory Circle, with an IndyCar Series car, Borg-Warner Trophy replica, wreath, a glass of milk and a 500 Festival Princess.

* A local celebrity and media pit stop competition will take place at 1:30 p.m. on pit lane in front of the Media Center, just south of the start/finish line.

* The Coca-Cola Stage will stay active with live music from Horizon, Creepin' Charlie and The Reverend Peyton's band.

Fans arriving early will receive a 500 Festival collectible trading pin. Tickets are $5 for the day (children ages 6 and younger admitted free) and are available at the gate or by calling the 500 Festival office at (800) 638-4296.

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FASHION SHOW:

The annual CARA Charities Fashion Show will take place at 11 a.m. (local time) Thursday, May 26 at the Westin Hotel Grand Ballroom, 50 S. Capitol Ave. in Indianapolis. 2004 IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan, his wife, Daniele, and Indianapolis civic leader Marlyne Sexton are honorary co-chairpersons.

Drivers and celebrities, along with their families, will model fashions by various retailers. 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice and two-time "500" winner Helio Castroneves are among the scheduled runway models. Tickets are $75 per person, and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (317) 299-2277 or e-mail carachar@aol.com.

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THE LAST ROW PARTY:

The Indianapolis Press Club will stage the 33rd annual Last Row Party at 6 p.m. (local time) Friday, May 27 at the Brickyard Crossing and Resort Pavilion on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Last Row Party honors the drivers who will start the Indianapolis 500 in the 31st, 32nd and 33rd positions. Bob Jenkins will serve as host.

Last year's honorees were Robby McGehee, PJ Jones and Marty Roth. In the past 32 years, drivers Mario Andretti, Gary Bettenhausen, Gordon Johncock, Johnny Rutherford, Tom Sneva and Al Unser all have taken part in the Last Row Party. Drivers are awarded a jacket and checks for 31 cents, 32 cents and 33 cents, depending on their starting position.

Last Row Party tickets and order forms can be obtained by calling (317) 472-3952 or e-mail tgordon@bjmpr.com.

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MILLER LITE CARB DAY ON THE MOVE, BETTER THAN EVER:

Miller Lite Carb Day has moved to Friday, taking place in 2005 on May 27. A full day of Miller Lite Carb Day activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will provide a fitting kick-off for an exciting Memorial Day weekend in Indianapolis.

The day kicks off with the one-hour final practice for the 33-car Indianapolis 500 starting field at 11 a.m. (local time). The third-annual Futaba Freedom 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ù race has moved to Miller Lite Carb Day, and will take place at 12:30 p.m. The Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge is next at 1:30 p.m., and popular rock band The Black Crowes, which is selling out concerts on a reunion tour, will headline the Miller Lite Carb Day Concert, scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Thirty-six vintage race cars will take laps on Miller Lite Carb Day, following the Futaba Freedom 100.

Tickets for Miller Lite Carb Day are $10 at the gate, with children age 5 and younger admitted free. All activities for the day are included in the ticket price, including the concert.

The Speedway's gates open to the public at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

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TAKE A RIDE OF A LIFETIME:

Fans can experience the ride of their life May 16-17 and 23-24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by riding, at speeds in the 170-185 mph range, in the Indy Racing Experience, an IndyCar Series two-seat race car.

Tickets for the ride around the historic 2.5-mile oval are $600 for three laps or $800 for four laps. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (317) 243-7171. Information is also available at www.sindenracing.com.

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DRIVERS' MEETING:

The public is invited to attend the Drivers' Meeting at 11 a.m. (local time) Saturday, May 28 in front of the Bombardier Pagoda as the 33-driver field receives final race instructions and pre-race awards. Seating is available in the Tower Terrace.

A driver autograph session will take place from 9-10 a.m. in the Bombardier Pagoda Plaza.

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GOV. DANIELS TO HONOR HEROES:

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will deliver the keynote address for the 500 Festival's 47th annual Memorial Service, scheduled for 11:15 a.m. (local time) Friday, May 27 at Monument Circle.

The event is the state's largest memorial ceremony honoring Indiana men and women who have given their lives in service to our country. A fitting kick-off to Memorial Day weekend, the service will feature the Capital City Chorus, the 38th Infantry Division Band, an empty chair ceremony honoring POW/MIA's and an official fly-over the Circle in tribute.

Joined by national, state and city officials, citizens are invited to lay a carnation on the steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument during the lunchtime service to honor service men and women. Admission is free to the public.

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THE PARADE:

The annual IPL 500 Festival Parade, one of the nation's premier parades, is scheduled for noon (local time) Saturday, May 28 in downtown Indianapolis.

The parade starts at North and Pennsylvania, heads south on Pennsylvania to Washington, and travels west on Washington to Meridian and proceeds north on Meridian to 11th Street.

Tickets range in price from $13.50 to $27.50. Call (317) 614-6400 or (800) 638-4296 to purchase tickets or stop by the 500 Festival office at 2960 N. Meridian St. in Indianapolis. Tickets are also available online at www.500festival.com and www.ticketmaster.com.

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VISIT THE SNAKEPIT -- IN A BLACK TIE:

The Regions Bank presents the 500 Festival Snakepit Ball kicks off with VIP arrivals at 6 p.m. (local time) Saturday, May 28 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.

The Oscar night-like gala will feature entertainment by Kool & the Gang. Dress for the evening is black tie-preferred, and tickets are $250 person. Contact (317) 614-6400 for tickets and information.

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VICTORY CELEBRATION:

The Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration will take place at 6 p.m. (local time) Monday, May 30 at the Plaza Pavilion, located in the IMS infield directly behind the Bombardier Pagoda.

Tickets are $75 per person or $750 for a table of 10. Seating is limited and subject to availability. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Mary Jo Corson at the Speedway's Ticket Office at (317) 492-6709.

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Robby McGehee , Helio Castroneves , Michael Andretti , Tony Kanaan , Sam Schmidt , Mario Andretti , Al Unser Sr. , Bobby Unser , Tom Sneva , Buddy Rice , Marty Roth , Johnny Parsons , Gordon Johncock , Eddie M , Johnny Rutherford