IRL: Indy 500: Carb Day preview

NEW DATE, RACE, NON-STOP ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHT MILLER LITE CARB DAY The Black Crowes to put cap on busy day May 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 26, 2005 -- Simply put, the 2005 edition of Miller Lite Carb Day should be...

NEW DATE, RACE, NON-STOP ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHT MILLER LITE CARB DAY
The Black Crowes to put cap on busy day May 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 26, 2005 -- Simply put, the 2005 edition of Miller Lite Carb Day should be the best Carb Day celebration ever at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Fan-friendly changes, including a shift from Thursday to Friday and the addition of a 100-mile race, complement the traditional lineup of Miller Lite Carb Day activities May 27.

The final, one-hour practice for the 33-car Indianapolis 500 field kicks off Miller Lite Carb Day at 11 a.m. (local time). Also at 11 a.m., fans will receive, on a first-come, first-served basis, the Firestone Indianapolis 500 collectible sponsor trading pin at Firestone's Formula One garages No. 25-27.

At noon, more than 40 vintage race cars, including many from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum's extensive collection, will take five ceremonial laps around the Speedway's legendary 2.5-mile oval.

At 12:10 p.m., driver introductions for the Futaba Freedom 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race will take place, and at 12:30 p.m., budding open-wheel stars such as Marco Andretti, Al Unser and others will compete in the 100-mile, 40-lap event.

At 1:30 p.m., 12 of the fastest pit crews in motorsports will compete for bragging rights, the first-place trophy and $30,000 winner's check in the 29th annual Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge.

Since 1977, the Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge has paired the finest pit crews and drivers in exciting head-to-head competition to determine the fastest pit crew at Indy for the year.

The 2005 Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge grid will showcase many of the finest teams and most popular drivers in the IndyCar® Series as they compete for an $80,000 purse. Eleven of 12 pit stop contest participants are IndyCar Series race winners, and two drivers -- Helio Castroneves and Kenny Brack -- are Indianapolis 500 champions. The 2005 Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge lineup: <pre> Car Driver Team 3 Helio Castroneves Marlboro Team Penske 4 Tomas Scheckter Panther Racing 6 Sam Hornish Jr. Marlboro Team Penske 7 Bryan Herta Andretti Green Racing 8 Scott Sharp Delphi Fernandez Racing 9 Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Racing 11 Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 15 Kenny Brack Rahal Letterman Racing 17 Vitor Meira Rahal Letterman Racing 26 Dan Wheldon Andretti Green Racing 27 Dario Franchitti Andretti Green Racing 51 Alex Barron Red Bull Cheever Racing </pre> The Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge involves a four-round format. Eight teams go head to head, two at a time, in Round One. Four teams get a bye in the first round and take on the Round One winners in the second round.

In each round, the team must change all four tires and make a simulated fuel hose connection to the car's fuel tank for a minimum of three seconds. The winner in each round is determined by the fastest time, and the pressure is on crews to complete the stop without a rules infraction as time penalties can make the difference between victory and elimination.

In 2004, the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing crew and driver Buddy Rice won the competition.

A fitting conclusion to the day will come in the form of a concert by world-famous rock band The Black Crowes, who will headline the Miller Lite Carb Day Concert, which starts at 3:30 p.m. The opening act is the British rock group 22-20s.

The concert venue has moved slightly for 2005. For the past several years, the Miller Lite Carb Day Concert venue has been the Bombardier Pagoda, but for 2005, the show will take place in the grass lot bordering Hulman Boulevard, east of the Pagoda.

Admission for the day is $10, with children 5 and under admitted free. All Miller Lite Carb Day activities are included in the ticket price.

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Indy 500 tickets: To purchase tickets, camping or parking for the 89th Indianapolis 500, contact the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY or log on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

-ims-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Alex Barron , Dan Wheldon , Al Unser Sr. , Buddy Rice , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr. , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing