Franchitti Unveils 2013 Indianapolis 500 Ticket

Story posted - Feb 26 2013 5:58 AM

Longtime fan's IMS seat location featured in ceremonial display ticket

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 - Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti unveiled the artwork for the 2013 Indianapolis 500 ticket during a 500 Festival Corporate Members event Feb. 25 in downtown Indianapolis.

Every 2013 Indianapolis 500 reserved seat ticket will show a smiling Franchitti wearing the traditional winner's wreath after his victory in 2012 and the 2013 Indianapolis 500 event logo. Indianapolis 500 tickets traditionally honor and feature the previous year's champion.

But the sample ticket on display at the ceremony at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center also featured the seat location of longtime fan George "Butch" Welsch, who has been attending the Indianapolis 500 for more than 60 years. Welsch, from St. Louis, won an Indianapolis Motor Speedway contest that determined which Indianapolis 500 seat location would appear on the ticket unveiled by Franchitti.

Fans were encouraged to shoot video of themselves explaining why they should be the lucky fan to have their seat featured.

Welsch is the only person to sit in Paddock Penthouse, Box 12, Row A, Seat 1 for the Indianapolis 500 since that seat was first available in 1961. The 97th Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 26, will mark the 53rd time that Welsch has watched the world's most famous and prestigious auto race in that seat.

"When I saw information about this contest, I thought I could enter and that there weren't going to probably be many people who would have a better story to tell than I did," Welsch said. "This is a really neat thing for the Speedway to do, and not just because it's mine, but because there's so many family traditions at the Speedway."

Franchitti's thrilling victory in 2012 in a Target Chip Ganassi Racing machine placed him in elite company as one of only 10 drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 at least three times. He also won in 2007 and 2010. Franchitti and fellow three-time winner Helio Castroneves will attempt to become just the fourth four-time winner this May.

"I'm very proud to have won the 2012 Indianapolis 500," Franchitti said. "A one-two finish with my teammate Scott Dixon was a fantastic result for all of us at Team Target. Winning my third Indianapolis 500 was very special and coming back to Indianapolis to unveil this year's ticket is always fun."

 
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