IRL: Indy500: Event Happenings

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 11, 2000 - Event happenings leading up to and during the Indianapolis 500 on May 13-28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: FAMILY DAY: Opening Day for Indianapolis 500 practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 11, 2000 - Event happenings leading up to and during the Indianapolis 500 on May 13-28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

FAMILY DAY: Opening Day for Indianapolis 500 practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is Family Day, May 13. Admission is free for children ages 12 and younger if accompanied by an adult. Admission for fans age 13 and older is $5. The first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive a free, retro-style Indianapolis 500 pennant styled after past a race pennant. Indianapolis 500 practice takes place from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (local time), but there will be plenty of other activities to entertain fans young and old. The Danger Brothers will play throughout the day on the Pepsi Stage, located in the Plaza area behind the new Pagoda control tower. The Boehmer Family Jugglers will perform in the new plaza area, and face painters and clowns will be on hand in the plaza to entertain children and their parents. 500 Festival volunteers and children who were winners in the Festival of Art will be guests of the Speedway on Family Day. The two groups will be honored in presentations before practice.

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20th ANNUAL SAVE ARNOLD BENEFIT:

The 20th Annual Save Arnold barbecue and picnic will take place at 2:30 p.m. May 14 on the temporary flag lot in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield. The event, which is coordinated by Speedway Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George, is the largest annual fundraiser for Special Olympics of Indiana.

This year's barbecue will bring contributions from this event to Special Olympics of Indiana to $1.5 million since the inaugural event in 1981. Special Olympics teams from around the state will participate in several sports activities during the event, and Indianapolis 500 drivers will take part as honorary coaches.

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INDY LEGENDS:

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will salute six individuals who became legends through outstanding careers at the Speedway. The Legends will take a ceremonial lap around the Speedway and be interviewed on the track's public-address system. A Salute to Indy Racing Legends will take place on the following days: May 14: Joe Leonard May 15: Duke Nalon May 16: Emerson Fittipaldi May 17: Rick Mears May 18: Mario Andretti May 19: Andy Granatelli Leonard will be unable to attend May 14.

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ARMED FORCES DAY:

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will salute the Armed Forces of the United States on May 21 (also MBNA Bump Day, the final day of qualifications).

Ceremonies honoring the five branches of U.S. Armed Forces will take place at 11:15 a.m. near the start/finish line, featuring a fly-over and parachute jump. United States Senator Richard Lugar, of Indiana, will conduct an honorary swearing-in of personnel from all five branches of the Armed Forces.

Military ground and air equipment will be displayed in the east parking lot of the Hall of Fame Museum on May 20-21.

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AUTOGRAPHS AT BRICKYARD AUTHENTICS:

Several drivers will appear at the Brickyard Authentics store at Circle Centre Mall in downtown Indianapolis to sign autographs. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. will be on hand from 6:30-8 p.m. on May 24, and Robbie Buhl, Billy Boat and Stephan Gregoire will sign autographs from 6:30-8 p.m. May 25.

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COMMUNITY DAY:

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will give the public an up-close look at Gasoline Alley and the 2.5-mile oval at the annual 500 Festival Community Day on May 24.

The garage area will be open to the public from 2-6 p.m., and an Indianapolis 500 driver autograph session will take place from 3-6 p.m. in the garage area.

The general public can take a lap around the oval between noon and 5 p.m. in their personal passenger cars. Anyone who wants to take a track lap should enter the grounds via Gate 10, located on 30th Street at the north end of the Speedway grounds.

Admission is $5, with free admission for children ages 6 and younger.

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PRACTICE, PIT STOPS AND ROCK N' ROLL ON COORS CARB DAY:

Final practice for the 33 drivers who qualify for the 84th Indianapolis 500 takes place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Coors Carb Day, May 25.

The annual Coors Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge gets underway at 1:30 p.m. For 2000, the field has been expanded to 12 cars. The winning team will earn $42,500, with $5,000 of that total going to a charity of the team's choice. The total event purse is $80,000.

In each round of the Challenge, teams will change all four tires on the car while making a simulated fuel hose connection to the fuel tank for at least five seconds. The faster team of the pair advances to the next round, until the top two teams meet for a final-round showdown.

Following the Coors Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, the hit modern rock band Smash Mouth will be the featured entertainment at the Coors Carb Day Concert, at approximately 4 p.m. The band will play at the Pepsi Stage, located in the plaza area behind the new Pagoda control tower.

Smash Mouth was nominated for a 2000 Grammy Award in the Best Pop Performance by Duo or Group category. The band's most recent album on the Interscope label, "Astro Lounge," includes the hit songs "All Star" and "Then The Morning Comes."

The band scored a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Modern Rock chart with "Walkin

on the Sun," from its debut album with Interscope, "Fush Yu Mang."

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DRIVER'S MEETING:

The annual public drivers meeting with the 33 starting drivers will take place at 11 a.m. May 27 in front of the Tower Terrace at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The meeting will include introduction of the starting field and the announcement of several awards.

A driver autograph session will precede the driver's meeting, from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Pepsi Stage.

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VICTORY CELEBRATION ON RACE DAY EVENING:

The 84th Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration will take place at 7 p.m. at the historic Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis on May 28, the evening of Race Day. Previous Victory Celebrations took place the evening after Race Day.

All 33 drivers from the starting field will attend the event, and the top-10 finishers and selected award winners will appear on stage.

ABC Sports and ESPN racing announcer Bob Jenkins will serve as host.

The event will be televised from 8-10 p.m. (EDT) May 30 on ESPN2.

The Victory Celebration begins at 7 p.m. with cocktails, followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. and a party at 10 p.m.

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ON-TRACK ACTIVITY:

The 84th Indianapolis 500 starts at 11 a.m. (EST) May 28. Coors Carb Day, the final two-hour practice for all 33 Indianapolis 500 starters, is 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. May 25.

Pole Day qualifying, during which drivers will vie for the $100,000 PPG Pole Award, is 11 a.m.-6 p.m. May 20.

MBNA Bump Day qualifying, when the field of 33 starters is set, is noon-6 p.m. May 21.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is open for Indy Racing Northern Light Series practice daily from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (EST) daily May 13-19.

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ON THE AIR:

TV: The Indianapolis 500 will be televised live on ABC at noon (EDT) May 28, with a one-hour pre-race show at 11 a.m. (EDT).

Qualifications will feature live coverage from three networks. Pole Day coverage will begin from noon-2:30 p.m. (EDT) May 20 on ESPN. ABC will take over from 2:30-4:30 p.m., and ESPN2 will air the final hours of Pole Day from 4:30 - 7 p.m.

Coverage will resume May 21 for MBNA Bump Day, with ESPN providing live coverage from noon-1 p.m. (EDT), ABC from 1-3 p.m. and ESPN2 from 3-7 p.m.

ESPN2 will provide daily Indy Racing Northern Light Series practice recaps with "Indy Live" Daily Reports, from 5-7 p.m. (EDT) May 14-19.

Radio: The Indy Racing Radio Network will broadcast the Indianapolis 500 live beginning with a pre-race show at 11 a.m. (EDT).

The "Indy AM" Pole Day qualifying show is noon-2 p.m. (EDT) May 20, with the "Indy PM" Pole Day show from 6-7 p.m.

IRRN will cover MBNA Bump Day with "Indy AM" from 1-2 p.m. (EDT) on May 21, and "Indy PM" 6-7 p.m.

"Track Action Updates" will air every half-hour on May 20-21 between 12:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. (EDT).

IRRN will also air "Indy Live" interview talk shows from 9-10 p.m. (EDT) on May 16, 18, 23 and 25.

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ON THE WEB:

Indy Racing Online will provide live timing and scoring of all Indianapolis 500 practice sessions, PPG Pole qualifying, MBNA Bump Day qualifying and the race at http://www.indyracing.com .

Daily reports, event news and photo galleries also will be posted on the Indy Racing Web site.

Feature stories, event history, statistics and the photo archives are available on the official Indianapolis 500 Web site, http://www.indy500.com.

Indy Racing Online will provide daily live streaming video of Indianapolis 500 practice from noon-5 p.m. (EDT).

The Indy Racing Radio Network will provide online audio updates three times daily at Indy Racing Online, http://www.indyracing.com .

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TICKETS:

Reserved seat tickets for the 84th Indianapolis 500 are sold out. General admission tickets are available at the Speedway ticket office, by calling (317) 484-6700, or at the gate on Race Day.

General admission tickets for practice and qualifications are available via the Speedway ticket office or at the gate.

General admission for Race Day is $20 for adults and free for children ages 5 and younger.

Admission for Pole Day (May 20), MBNA Bump Day (May 21) and Coors Carb Day (May 25) is $10 for adults and free for children ages 5 and younger.

Admission each practice day (May 13-19) is $5 for adults and free for children age 5 and younger, with the exception of Family Day (May 13), when children ages 12 and younger receive free admission.

-IMS/IRL-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Robbie Buhl , Stephan Gregoire , Billy Boat , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Joe Leonard , Emerson Fittipaldi