GMR Grand Prix, AMR Safety Team, All Clear Foundation Join Forces with INDYCAR to Fuel Season-Long Salute to First Responders INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 – Global Medical Response (GMR), the world leader in compassionate, quality emergency medical and patient relocation services, has reached a multi-year agreement to become the title sponsor of the NTT…
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Rock Legends REO Speedwagon, Styx To Headline Miller Lite Carb Day Concert May 22
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 – Music legends REO Speedwagon and Styx will co-headline the Miller Lite Carb Day Concert on Friday, May 22, 2020 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, performing their hits that have defined melodic power rock for generations.
The concert featuring two of the most popular American rock bands in history starts at 3:30 p.m.on the Miller Lite Stage inside Turn 4 of the IMS oval. Styx will perform first, followed by REO Speedwagon.
General admission tickets start at just $30. A limited number of concert pit tickets are available for $55. For the first time in 2020, a limited number of tickets in a new temporary grandstand are available starting at $95, including concert pit access. A very limited supply of exclusive VIP platform tickets also is available for $250, including pit access, snacks, two complimentary drinks and dedicated bars. Ticket prices will increase as the concert draws closer, so fans are encouraged to buy now.
All general admission, concert pit, grandstand and VIP Deck concert tickets include admission to the concert and to on-track activities that day at IMS, which include the final practice for the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race and the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge.
“Miller Lite Carb Day is the start of the most exciting weekend of the year in motorsports, and REO Speedwagon and Styx are the perfect headliners to shift anticipation for the 104th Indy 500 into top gear,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Both bands came from Midwestern roots to become enduring global superstars, just like the Indy 500. Our fans will love rocking to hit after hit performed by these legendary artists at the best high-horsepower party of the year.”
Formed in 1967 at college in Champaign, Illinois, signed in 1971 and fronted by iconic vocalist Kevin Cronin since 1972, REO Speedwagon is a band where the main constant over the decades is a never-ending desire to give their all to their fans, year in and year out.
In its early days, REO (named after the precursor to the light truck) rode to gigs in station wagons, hopping from small gigs to even tinier gigs, just to get their name out. It worked, as fans quickly realized there was much more going on here than your average college party band. By the early ’70s, the band’s unrelenting drive, as well as non-stop touring and recording, jump-started the burgeoning rock movement in the Midwest. It carved a path that was eventually followed by Styx, Kansas, Cheap Trick and more.
Platinum albums and freeform FM radio staples such as “Ridin’ The Storm Out” followed, setting the stage for the 1980’s explosive “Hi Infidelity,” which received the Recording Industry Association of America’s 10X Diamond Award for surpassing sales of 10 million units in the U.S. “Hi Infidelity’s” millions in sales were fueled by massive hit singles such as “Keep On Loving You” and “Take It On the Run.” All these years later, “Hi Infidelity” still remains a high-water mark for rock bands – the album spent 15 weeks in the No. 1 slot, a feat that modern artists can only dream of achieving.
REO rode the top of the charts with a RIAA-certified 22 million albums sold in the U.S. and 40 million around the globe, with a string of gold and platinum records and international hit singles.
At the center of REO’s desire to keep it rocking for the fans is Cronin, who looks like he’s found the fountain of youth, along with the secret to penning some of the biggest hits in rock. With bandmates Bruce Hall on bass, keyboardist Neal Doughty, Dave Amato on lead guitar and drummer Bryan Hitt, REO has remained busy since the band celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2007 with its 15th studio album, “Find Your Own Way,” and tours with fellow legends such as Styx, .38 Special, Pat Benatar, Ted Nugent, Chicago, Def Leppard, Status Quo and Don Felder, including a number of shows to benefit various causes.
The six members of Styx continue to rock to audiences far and wide by entering their second decade of averaging over 100 shows a year. Founded in Chicago in 1972, Styx draws from over four decades of barn-burning chart hits, joyous singalongs and hard-driving deep cuts.
From the progressively sweeping splendor that is “The Grand Illusion” to the hunker-down fortitude of all that is the “Blue Collar Man,” from the majestic spiritual love for a special “Lady” to the seething indictment of preening, primping pageantry for pageantry’s sake of “Miss America,” from an individual yearning for true connection as a “Man in the Wilderness” to a soul-deep quest to achieve what’s at the heart of one’s personal vision in “Crystal Ball,” from the regal reach-for-the-stars bravado of “Come Sail Away” to the grainy all-in gallop of that rugged “Renegade” who had it made, the band draws on an unlimited cache of ways to immerse one’s mind and body in its signature sound.
Styx hit its stride with guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw‘s first LP with the band, 1976’s “Crystal Ball,” and then it became the first group to score four triple-platinum albums in a row: “The Grand Illusion” (1977), “Pieces of Eight” (1978), “Cornerstone” (1979) and “Paradise Theater” (1981).
Over the ensuing decade, Styx weathered the shifting winds of the public’s musical taste, reconvening for a highly successful 1996 “Return to Paradise” tour that was documented on CD and DVD in 1997.
With a little help from their many friends in Cleveland’s Contemporary Youth Orchestra, “One With Everything” (2006) became a hybrid orchestral rock blend for the ages. And on “The Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight Live” (2011), the band performed at its peak when tackling every track from a pair of their finest triple-platinum albums back to back. Styx also re-recorded two discs’ worth of its classic material with much finesse and musculature, aptly known as “Regeneration Volume I & II” (2011 & 2012). The band’s latest album, “The Mission,” was released to critical acclaim in 2017.
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 – John Martin, a veteran of five Indianapolis 500 starts and the eighth-place finisher in the rain-shortened 1973 event, died Nov. 20. He was 80.
A gifted mechanic and engineer, who performed much of the work on cars he drove, Martin was active in racing until his death. His most-recent role was working near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at Billy Throckmorton’s Grant King racing shop, restoring and preparing a variety of racing engines for vintage car meets, including normally aspirated Offenhausers, turbocharged Drake Offys, Volkswagen midget car engines and an abundance of vintage sprint car powerplants.
Last summer, he drove in Vintage Race of Champions (VROC) Charity Pro-Am race during the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational at IMS, a race he competed in every year since the inaugural in 2014.
The Cushing, Oklahoma-born Martin, who lived in Missouri, Wisconsin, California and in the Indianapolis area, made a total of 52 starts in the United States Auto Club National Championship series and under the Championship Auto Racing Teams banner, placing within the top 10 on 17 occasions in Indy car events. His highest showing was a pair of fifth-place finishes, scored in the Ontario 500-mile races of 1973 and 1975.
He attempted to qualify for every Indianapolis 500 between 1971 and 1982 and was successful for five consecutive events between 1972 and 1976. Driving an ex-Peter Revson McLaren fielded by himself, Martin placed eighth in 1973, when the car was called the Unsponsored Special, and 11th in 1974 when it ran as the delightfully named Sea Snack Shrimp Cocktail Special.
Long after he was no longer driving, Martin continued to work on teams in a variety of capacities, including engineer, fabricator and spotter. Far into the night prior to an event, Martin could be seen dressed in an apron and engrossed in a mechanical exercise of some kind.
His early days of driving were as an amateur road racer with the Sports Car Club of America. While living in Wisconsin, he converted a 1963 Corvette Stingray into an A-production racer and won a national title with it in 1965. He also took part in several United States Auto Club stock car races between 1966 and 1969, and contested SCCA’s Trans-Am series in 1968 with an AMC Javelin. In 1970, he drove a Surtees in the SCCA Continental series for stock block-powered Formula 5000 cars and placed within the top 10 in eight out of 11 starts.
A great storyteller, the laid-back Martin was blessed with a rich baritone voice which the professionals would describe as a “radio” voice.
He is survived by his wife, Linda, and a married daughter, Kristen De Muth.
Services are pending, but a celebration of life is being planned for some time in December at the Grant King racing shop.
Universities from Around World To Compete for $1 Million Prize in Two-Year ‘Indy Autonomous Challenge’
· Landmark autonomous race to take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2021.
· IMS, Energy Systems Network, Dallara Automobili and Clemson University join forces to power competition featuring $1 million prize.
· Five universities already registered to form race teams and enter the event.
LAS VEGAS, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 – The birthplace of motorsports innovation soon will be home to a historic, trailblazing and driverless competition.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and Energy Systems Network (ESN) today announced a two-year, $1 million prize competition that will culminate in a head-to-head, high-speed autonomous vehicle race Oct. 23, 2021, around the Speedway’s famed 2.5-mile oval, which also plays host annually to the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the largest single-day sporting event in the world. The announcement was made at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the automotive industry’s premier venue for performance products.
The Indy Autonomous Challenge is a competition among universities to create software that enables self-driving Indy Lights race cars to compete in a head-to-head race on the IMS track. The development of such software can help speed the commercialization of full autonomous vehicles and enhance existing advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in people-driven cars. These technologies help drivers remain in control and avoid accidents by prompting awareness and improving accuracy.
Leveraging the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s long history of spurring automotive innovation
The Challenge builds upon the success and impact of the DARPA Grand Challenge – the 2004-05 defense research initiative that helped create the modern autonomous vehicle industry – as well as IMS’s roots dating back to 1909 as a proving ground for the nascent automotive industry. More than a century later, IMS has contributed to countless breakthroughs in automotive performance and safety, including the first rear-view mirror.
“There’s a fundamental connection between innovations on the racetrack and real-world improvements on the highway,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “With the launch of the Indy Autonomous Challenge, IMS continues to embrace its historic role as a catalyst for the next generation of vehicle technologies in motorsports competition and wider consumer platforms. And while drivers will always be at the heart of racing at IMS, we’re excited to be part of this groundbreaking and exciting initiative.”
Five-round structure progressively challenges and empowers university students
The Challenge consists of five rounds. Teams submit a short white paper during the first round, and in the second round, teams must demonstrate vehicular automation by sharing a short video of an existing vehicle or by participating in Purdue University’s self-driving go-kart competition at IMS. The Indy Autonomous Challenge’s simulation sponsor ANSYS will supply its industry-leading VRXPERIENCE Driving Simulator powered by SCANeRTM and its SCADE software development suite to teams for their use in developing autonomous vehicle software. ESN and ANSYS will co-host “hackathons” to familiarize teams with the simulator’s full potential and ANSYS will award $150,000 in prizes to top finishers of a simulated race during the third round. The fourth round enables teams to test their actual vehicles at IMS in advance of the head-to-head race around the oval, which will award $1 million, $250,000, and $50,000 to the first, second, and third finishers, respectively.
“What we’re asking universities to do is hard,” said Matt Peak, director of mobility at Energy Systems Network. “Our hope is that by bringing together and offering up to participating teams the world’s premier automotive proving ground, performance chassis manufacturer, engineering research center and simulation platform, as well as nearly $1.5 million in total cash awards, universities will see the Challenge as not just throwing down the gauntlet but also extending the helping hand to accelerate innovation and the arrival of new technologies.”
A global platform for collegiate collaboration and academic advancements
Joining IMS and ESN for the announcement were race car manufacturer Dallara Automobili and the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). Through Clemson University’s long-running vehicle prototype program Deep Orange, Clemson graduate automotive engineering students will collaborate with ESN and Dallara to engineer an autonomous-capable version of Dallara’s 210 mph IL-15 Indy Lights chassis that can accommodate the competing university teams’ driverless algorithms. Participating teams will be directly involved in the converted vehicle’s design and specifications through monthly virtual design reviews (VDRs) and other feedback channels throughout the competition.
“Deep Orange is an educational framework that immerses students in industry-like environments to simulate real-world R&D challenges facing companies today,” said Dr. Robert Prucka, Clemson University Kulwicki Endowed professor and Deep Orange 12 project leader. “Working with industry partners such as IMS, ESN, Dallara and ANSYS gives students unparalleled opportunities to work with the latest technologies and collaborate with cross-functional teams in a way that will make them more innovative and capable engineering leaders after they graduate.”
Five universities registered for the competition upon its opening this morning: Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST), Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), University of Florida, University of Illinois and the University of Virginia. Members of each of these early registered teams joined the organizers at the SEMA Show for the announcement.
“Nearly 15 years ago, the DARPA Grand Challenge helped prove the innovation-generating and industry-creating role of prize competitions, while recent years have seen the value of autonomous vehicle proving grounds – including Texas A&M RELLIS/TTI Proving Grounds Research Facility – on full display”, said Ivan Damnjanovic, associate professor and director of engineering project management at Texas A&M University. “We’re excited to be in on the ground level of such a dynamic effort that leverages both of these tools while adding others that can excite and empower students, inspire classrooms and coursework, and altogether help transportation research institutions advance their programs.”
Registration is open for accredited, tax-exempt colleges and universities (including foreign institutions of higher education) through Feb. 28, 2020. For more information and to register for the competition, visit www.indyautonomouschallenge.
Spectator information for this event will be provided as the date draws closer.
About Energy Systems Network: ESN was founded in 2009 to accelerate the pace of energy and transportation technology development and commercialization. Through ESN, companies and institutions from across Indiana and around the world – including Cummins, Duke Energy, Delphi, Toyota, Bolloré, ITOCHU, Toshiba, Vectren, MISO, Purdue, Ivy Tech, Notre Dame and many others – have showcased and advanced new technologies and solutions through industry research, pilot projects, collaborative convening, and the development and deployment of innovation models. Examples include: The Hoosier Heavy Hybrid Partnership to reduce emissions/fuel consumption of heavy trucks; Project Plug-IN to enable all-electric commutes powered by a smart utility grid; MicroGreen to supply military bases with reliable homegrown energy; and the Battery Innovation Center to establish a single point of access for battery research, development, testing and commercialization; and Leaper X to use Internet-of-Things (IoT) and advanced analytics to advance on-demand transit solutions. ESN also played leading roles in developing and launching the first and largest all-electric car sharing system in the nation, the largest electric bus fleet and first electric bus rapid transit line, and the first mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) public fleet contract, among others. ESN is based in Indianapolis and part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP). For more information, visit www.energysystemsnetwork.com.
About the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the world’s largest spectator sporting facility, has been the worldwide leader in motorsports entertainment since opening in 1909. IMS hosts the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the world’s largest single-day annual sporting event, which features the stars of the NTT IndyCar Series. The Speedway also annually hosts the stars of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship during the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line event week, which also includes the Indiana 250 and Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink. Living up to its reputation as a bucket list sporting venue featuring a diverse variety of racing, throughout the 2020 season IMS also will welcome the competitors of the MotoAmerica motorcycle series and the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and GT World Challenge America sports car championships. Visit IMS.com for a full list of dates and ticket purchase options.
About the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research: CU-ICAR is a 250-acre advanced-technology research campus where university, industry and government organizations collaborate. Home to Clemson’s Department of Automotive Engineering, CU-ICAR offers master’s and Ph.D. programs in automotive engineering and is conducting leading-edge applied research in critical areas, such as advanced product-development strategies, sustainable mobility, intelligent manufacturing systems, and advanced materials. Housed at CU-ICAR, Deep Orange (CuicarDeepOrange.com ) is an educational framework designed to teach systems engineering principles and encourage students to push the boundaries of innovation. Students gain experience in developing market analysis, customer profiles, vehicle design, prototyping, and manufacturing while balancing costs and design targets in an aggressive timeline. Students work collaboratively with multi-disciplinary faculty and participating industry partners to design and produce a vehicle concept that meets a specific grand challenge.
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019 – Quotes from selected officials about the acquisition of Hulman & Company, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NTT IndyCar Series and IMS Productions, by Penske Corporation. The transaction, announced Nov. 4, will close following receipt of applicable government approvals and other standard conditions: ROGER PENSKE (Chairman and Founder, Penske Corporation): “My…
Acquisition to include the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the NTT IndyCar Series and IMS Productions
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. (November 4, 2019) – The Board of Directors of Hulman & Company announced today that it has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Penske Corporation, a global transportation, automotive and motorsports leader. Penske Entertainment Corp., a subsidiary of Penske Corporation, will acquire all Hulman & Company principal operating assets, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the NTT IndyCar Series and IMS Productions. The transaction will close following receipt of applicable government approvals and other standard conditions.
The acquisition by the Penske organization will carry the future of the legendary Speedway and the IndyCar Series forward for the next generation of racing fans.
It was the vision of Carl Fisher to build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in 1909 and the track hosted its first races later that year. Eddie Rickenbacker later purchased the Speedway in 1927 before selling it to Tony Hulman and Hulman & Company in 1945. IMS has been the host of the world’s largest single-day sporting event – the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race – for more than 100 years. The iconic venue has also hosted NASCAR, Formula One and other racing series events throughout its storied history. The NTT IndyCar Series continues to be the premier open-wheel racing series in North America and is one of the most competitive championships in the world. IMS Productions is a leading video services and production company.
“We recently approached Roger Penske and Penske Corporation about this opportunity and began working to put an agreement in place,” said Tony George, Chairman of Hulman & Company. “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been the centerpiece and the cathedral of motorsports since 1909 and the Hulman-George family has proudly served as the steward of this great institution for more than 70 years. Now, we are honored to pass the torch to Roger Penske and Penske Corporation, as they become just the fourth owner of the iconic Speedway. There is no one more capable and qualified than Roger and his organization to lead the sport of IndyCar racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway into the future.”
Penske Corporation has a rich history of managing major motorsports properties, beginning with the acquisition of Michigan International Speedway in 1973. Over the course of its history, Penske and its subsidiaries have also operated the Grand Prix of Cleveland, Nazareth Speedway and California Speedway, along with investments in North Carolina Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Penske Corporation currently promotes and operates the Detroit Grand Prix, hosted annually at the Belle Isle Park street circuit.
“My passion for racing began at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1951 when I attended the Indianapolis 500 with my father,” said Roger Penske, whose race team celebrated its 50th anniversary of first competing at IMS this year. “We have so much respect and appreciation for the history and tradition of the Speedway and the sport of IndyCar racing. I want to thank Hulman & Company for the opportunity to build on this legacy and it will be an honor for Penske Corporation to help lead these great institutions forward into a new era.”
“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the NTT IndyCar Series have enjoyed considerable growth over the past decade, with significant increases in television, digital and social media audiences combined with record attendance at many of our race venues,” said Mark Miles, President and CEO of Hulman & Company. “With their track record of business success, their venue, operation and event experience and their passion for motorsports, Roger Penske and Penske Corporation will help us take the IndyCar Series, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and all of our properties to new heights. Everyone on our team looks forward to working with them to capitalize on the momentum that the Series and the Speedway have achieved.”
Hulman & Company’s financial adviser was Allen & Company LLC, and its counsel was Ice Miller LLP for this transaction.
About Penske Corporation
Penske Corporation is a closely-held, on-highway, transportation services company whose subsidiaries operate in a variety of industry segments, including retail automotive, truck leasing, transportation logistics and professional motorsports. Penske Corporation manages businesses with consolidated revenues of more than $32 billion, operating more than 3,200 locations and employing more than 64,000 people worldwide.
About Hulman & Company
Hulman & Company is committed to worldwide leadership in motorsports competition and entertainment through its three entities, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), INDYCAR and IMS Productions. IMS is the world’s largest spectator sporting facility and the most famous racetrack on Earth. INDYCAR is the Indianapolis-based sanctioning body for the fastest and most competitive open-wheel racing series, the NTT IndyCar Series. IMS Productions is a leading provider of motorsports and sporting entertainment experience solutions.
Tickets On Sale Friday, Nov. 1; Join IMS Mailing List for Pre-Sale Access INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 – Award-winning country music superstar Luke Bryan will headline the Firestone Legends Day Concert on Saturday, May 23, the day before the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. The concert, which also will feature additional acts…
Tickets On Sale Now for Popular Holiday Attraction Presented By Fifth Third Bank INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 – Exciting new out-of-car experiences in and around the iconic IMS Pagoda, as well as a new presenting sponsor in Fifth Third Bank and a new philanthropic partnership with Riley Children’s Foundation, have been added to Lights…
PARIS, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019 – 2019 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Simon Pagenaud unveiled his face on the Borg-Warner Trophy on Monday, Aug. 5 in Paris, the capital city of his native France, the first time the winner’s likeness has debuted outside of the United States. Pagenaud’s likeness is the 106th face to…
TSO NOTE: Sending this as “News” as it is a fairly significant event for motorsports in general and it’s happening at IMS, which is kinda sorta connected to INDYCAR 😉 INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 26, 2019 – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli sports car championship Oct. 1-4, 2020,…