Archives for Indianapolis Motor Speedway PR

Statements on Passing of Legendary Racing Journalist Robin Miller

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021) – Statements from Roger Penske and Mark Miles on legendary racing journalist Robin Miller, who died Aug. 25 at 71:

Roger Penske, Chairman, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

“Racing has lost one of its most well-respected journalists and most beloved personalities. Robin Miller achieved his dream as his lifelong passion for motorsports led him on a path to becoming the premier reporter in open-wheel racing. For more than 50 years, Robin covered the sport he loved with a fierce drive, a great sense of humor and uncompromising honesty. I know that Robin was truly touched by the support he received across the motorsports community over these last few months as he battled his illness. As many of Robin’s friends honored him and his legacy earlier this month when he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame during Brickyard weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was a fitting tribute to his life’s work at the place that meant the world to him.”

Mark Miles, President and CEO, Penske Entertainment Corp.

“My friendship with Robin and appreciation for his talent and work began during his days at The Indianapolis Star. However, our relationship truly grew as I entered the motorsports world and immediately discovered his unmatched passion and energy for our sport and his tremendous dedication to our entire community. Robin was both a true friend and trusted confidant who never shied away from giving his honest opinion and blunt, but often invaluable, advice. Nobody loved racing more, and he was a true joy to work with who left an unforgettable and absolutely unique mark on both INDYCAR and the Racing Capital of the World. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends, along with his loyal and sizable legion of readers across the world. There simply won’t be another Robin Miller, and he will always hold a place in our hearts.”

Tomorrow at the Track: Sunday, Aug. 15

INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021) – Information about the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard Sunday, Aug. 15 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

SCHEDULE: (All times local)

8 a.m.-4 p.m.: Public Gates Open

9:05-10 a.m.: Verizon 200 at the Brickyard (NASCAR Cup Series) Qualifying

1 p.m.: Verizon 200 at the Brickyard (82 laps)

4 p.m.: Public Gates Close

TICKETS: $40 for General Admission seating for Verizon 200 at the Brickyard. Flex seating locations are available for $55 per adult. Children 15 and under are admitted free with paying adult in General Admission and Flex seating locations. Reserved seats start at $50.

PUBLIC GATES OPEN (8 a.m.): Gate 1, Gate 2, Gate 3, Gate 6S, Gate 6N, Gate 7S, Gate 7 Vehicle, Gate 9, Gate 10, Gate 10A, Gate 11A

STANDS OPEN: General Admission: Oval Turn 2 Mounds, Hulman South Mounds, Hulman North Mounds, and Oval Turn 4 Mounds. Flex: Southwest Vista (1-10), H Stand (1-6), Northwest Vista (16-20) and Tower Terrace (75-79). Reserved Seats: A Penthouse, B Penthouse, B Stand, E Penthouse, E Stand (1-24), H Stand (7-24), J Stand, Paddock Penthouse (1-30), Northwest Vista (1-15), Northwest Vista Deck, Southwest Vista Deck, South Vista Deck, South Vista (1-5), Southeast Vista, Southeast Vista Deck, South Terrace, South Terrace – East, Tower Terrace (37-57).

PARKING: Free parking is available in Lot 7 (North 40). Race fans must enter through Gate 10 from 30th Street. Paid parking is available in Lot 1B, Lot 2, Lot 3G and Main Gate for $20, Turn 3 Infield (pre-paid) for $25, Lot 6A for $40 and Gate 1 for $75.

TRANSPORTATION: Rideshare drop off/pick up location: 16th and Polco Street (Main Gate East).

IMS MUSEUM HOURS: (8 a.m.-4 p.m.) Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for guests over the age of 62 and $8 for guests ages 6-15. Children 5 and under and Museum members are free. Race fans can walk to the IMS Museum from the Speedway’s infield.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: (Fourth floor of Media Center unless otherwise noted)

8:35 a.m.: Verizon 200 at the Brickyard Qualifying Media Bullpen (NASCAR Hauler, Gasoline Alley)

  • NASCAR Cup Series drivers outside the top 15 will be available at the NASCAR Cup Series Conference Hauler in the garage 30 minutes before the start of the NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying.

Post-race: Verizon 200 at the Brickyard Media Bullpen (Pit Road)

  • The second- through fifth-place finishers in the NASCAR Cup Series race, along with the top story, will be available on pit road after the race.

Post-race: Verizon 200 at the Brickyard Press Conference

  • A press conference with the winning driver, crew chief, and team owner/leadership representative will take place immediately after the winner’s ceremonies end at Victory Podium.

All day: Vaccination Clinic (IMS Gates 1, 6, 9)

  • In partnership with IU Health and the Indiana Department of Health, COVID-19 vaccinations will be available at Gates 1, 6 and 9. Fans should look for first-aid stations with signage. Vaccinations will be available during all hours that gates are open, with the two-shot Pfizer and the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccinations available.

INDYCAR Pole Qualifying and Xfinity Practice on Frenetic Friday

O’Ward Wins INDYCAR Pole, Cindric Leads Xfinity Practice on Frenetic Friday

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, Aug. 13, 2021) – It was a jam-packed opening day to Brickyard Weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, with both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NTT INDYCAR SERIES on the IMS road course.

The day was headlined by NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice and NTT P1 Award qualifying to set the field for Saturday’s Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix (12:30 p.m. ET, live on NBCSN and the INDYCAR Radio Network).

In an exciting last-second run and by the narrowest of margins, Pato O’Ward scored his third NTT P1 Award for pole position this season and will lead the field to green in tomorrow’s race. His best lap time of 1 minute, 10.7147 seconds in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet came in the closing seconds of the Firestone Fast 12 and knocked Will Power off the top spot by .0067 of a second.

“I was surprised when I heard P1,” O’Ward said. “I came in and I saw the Pylon, my number didn’t get bumped down. I think I nailed it, honestly. I thought it was a very put together, very calm lap. There’s definitely been a lot crazier laps in my life.”

Four-time IMS road course winner Power was second at 1:10.7214 in the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, and the polesitter for May’s GMR Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean, was third at 1:10.7418 in the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda. Christian Lundgaard, in his debut NTT INDYCAR SERIES race, qualified fourth at 1:10.7433 in the No. 45 Mi-Jack Honda, and Colton Herta was fifth at 1:10.7631 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda.

Series leader Alex Palou qualified sixth at 1:10.8290 in the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

The early evening qualifying session threw NTT INDYCAR SERIES athletes a curveball. Group 1 of the first round of qualifying was run in the heat of the bright sun.

When Group 2 took over, cloud cover cooled the track, but it still proved to be challenging for even the best athletes. As time expired in the session, six-time and defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon spun exiting Turn 10. He lost his quickest lap of the session for causing a local yellow that affected another competitor. He starts 26th in the No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda.

Between INDYCAR practice and qualifying, the NASCAR Xfinity Series field took to the IMS road course for the one and only practice session of the weekend in preparation for Saturday’s Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard (4 p.m. ET, live on NBCSN).

Team Penske driver Austin Cindric, the defending NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, put together the best lap time of the session in the No. 22 PPG Ford at 1:32.276.

“It obviously tells us we have speed,” Cindric said. “But we have 150 miles in the Pennzoil 150 to get through, so hopefully we can have the same speed tomorrow in the PPG Ford Mustang. If I’ve learned one thing racing in NASCAR, it’s that practice doesn’t matter in the slightest, but the guys have worked hard, and I’m glad to show it.”

JR Motorsports rookie Sam Mayer followed in second at 1:32.459 in the No. 8 Chevrolet, while Winamac, Indiana, native Justin Haley was third at 1:32.601 in the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet.

Kevin Harvick, the winner of the last two Brickyard 400s, was fourth fastest in the No. 99 Unibet Official Sportsbook Chevrolet at 1:32.689, and AJ Allmendinger, who finished seventh in the 2013 Indianapolis 500, was fifth in the No. 16 Hyperice Chevrolet at 1:32.709.

Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge veteran Sage Karam impressed in the first practice session of his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut. He posted the 12th-fastest lap time of the session at 1:33.281.

If race fans thought Friday was an action-packed day of racing, they’re in store for even more thrills Saturday at the Racing Capital of the World. It all starts at 8:45 a.m. (ET) with INDYCAR warmup before NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying at 10 a.m. ET.

The stars of the NASCAR Cup Series will take on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS road course at 11 a.m. for the first time ever with the only practice session for Sunday’s Verizon 200 at the Brickyard.

Then, the action heats up with the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix at 12:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard at 4 p.m. ET. Tickets are still available at IMS.com or by walking up at the gates.

Tomorrow at the Track: Saturday, Aug. 14

Saturday, Aug. 14

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, Aug. 13, 2021) – Information about the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix and Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard Saturday, Aug. 14 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

SCHEDULE: (All times local)

7 a.m.-6 p.m.: Public Gates Open

8:45-9:15 a.m.: Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix (NTT INDYCAR SERIES) Warmup

10:05-10:45 a.m.: Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard (NASCAR Xfinity Series) Qualifying

11:05-11:55 a.m.: Verizon 200 at the Brickyard (NASCAR Cup Series) Practice

1 p.m.: Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix (85 laps)

4 p.m.: Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard (62 laps)

6 p.m.: Public Gates Close

TICKETS: $40 for General Admission seating for Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard and Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix. Flex seating locations are available for $55 per adult. Children 15 and under are admitted free with paying adult in General Admission and Flex seating locations. Reserved seats start at $60.

PUBLIC GATES OPEN (7 a.m.): Gate 1, Gate 2, Gate 3, Gate 6S, Gate 6N, Gate 7S, Gate 7 Vehicle, Gate 9, Gate 10, Gate 10A, Gate 11A

STANDS OPEN: General Admission: Oval Turn 2 Mounds, Hulman South Mounds, Hulman North Mounds, Oval Turn 4 Mounds, South Terrace, South Terrace – East, Tower Terrace (75-79) and Paddock (9-12). Flex: Southwest Vista (1-10), H Stand (1-6) and Northwest Vista (16-20). Reserved Seats: Northwest Vista (1-15), J Stand, H Stand (7-24), Paddock Penthouse, A Penthouse, B Penthouse, E Penthouse, E Stand (1-24), Southwest Vista Deck, South Vista (1-5), South Vista Deck. Southeast Vista Deck, Southeast Vista, North Vista Wheelchair.

PARKING: Free parking is available in Lot 7 (North 40). Race fans must enter through Gate 10 from 30th Street. Paid parking is available in Lot 1B, Lot 2, Lot 3G and Main Gate for $20, Turn 3 Infield (pre-paid) for $25, Lot 6A for $40 and Gate 1 for $75.

TRANSPORTATION: Rideshare drop off/pick up location: 16th and Polco Street (Main Gate East).

IMS MUSEUM HOURS: (7 a.m.-5 p.m.) Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for guests over the age of 62 and $8 for guests ages 6-15. Children 5 and under and Museum members are free. Race fans can walk to the IMS Museum from within the Speedway’s infield.

8-11 a.m.: August IMS Museum Cars & Coffee (IMS Museum Parking Lot)

  • The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and IMS will host a “Special Edition” Cars & Coffee morning of camaraderie with auto enthusiasts in the IMS Museum parking lot.

All day: Vaccination Clinic (IMS Gates 1, 6, 9)

  • In partnership with IU Health and the Indiana Department of Health, COVID-19 vaccinations will be available at Gates 1, 6 and 9. Fans should look for first-aid stations with signage. Vaccinations will be available during all hours that gates are open, with the two-shot Pfizer and the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccinations available.

Tomorrow at the Track: Friday, Aug. 13

(Photo Courtesy of Penske Entertainment)

Tomorrow at the Track: Friday, Aug. 13

INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021) – Information about Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix practice and qualifying and Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard practice Friday, Aug. 13 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

SCHEDULE: (All times local)

  • 2-8 p.m.: Public Gates Open
  • 3-4 p.m.: Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix (NTT INDYCAR SERIES) Practice 1
  • 5:35-6:25 p.m.: Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard (NASCAR Xfinity Series) Practice 1
  • 7-7:50 p.m.: Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix Qualifying
  • 8 p.m.: Public Gates Close

TICKETS: Tickets for the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix practice and qualifying and Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard practice General Admission seating are $20 and are available for purchase at IMS.com or by walking up at the gates. Children 15 and under are admitted free with paying adult.

PUBLIC GATES OPEN (2 p.m.): Gate 1, Gate 2, Gate 4, Gate 6S, Gate 7 South, Gate 7 Vehicle, Gate 9, Gate 10, Gate 10A

STANDS OPEN: E Penthouse, E Stand 1-16, B Penthouse, Paddock 9-12, Paddock Penthouse 1-25, J Stand 1-10, North Vista Wheelchair, NW Vista 1-10, NW Vista Deck, Turn 2 Mounds, Hulman South Mounds, Hulman North Mounds, Turn 4 Mounds, South Terrace, South Terrace – East

PARKING: Free parking is available in Lot 7 (North 40) and Turn 3 Infield. Race fans must enter through Gate 10 from 30th Street. Paid parking is available in Lot 2 and Main Gate for $10.

TRANSPORTATION: Rideshare drop off/pick up location: 16th and Polco Street (Main Gate East).

IMS MUSEUM HOURS: (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for guests over the age of 62 and $8 for guests ages 6-15. Children 5 and under and Museum members are free. Race fans can walk to the IMS Museum from within the Speedway’s infield.

After 1 p.m. on Friday, all IMS Museum visitors must possess an event ticket or credential to enter the Museum. Gate 2 will not be open for parking at the Museum.

Brickyard Weekend Fans Encouraged To ‘Plan Ahead’ with IMS.com

(Photo Courtesy of Penske Entertainment)

NDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021) – Fans attending Brickyard Weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which features the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NTT INDYCAR SERIES, are encouraged to “Plan Ahead” through IMS.com/PlanAhead, an interactive web page that serves as a home base for fans heading to the track this weekend.

The “Plan Ahead” page features detailed information about the entire fan experience at IMS, including directions, parking, schedule, gate regulations, digital ticket and parking guides, ADA accessibility and much more.

Additionally, IMS.com/PlanAhead highlights how race fans can stay safe and healthy at the racetrack this weekend. Hand sanitizer and masks will be available at Gates 1 and 9, and race fans can get their COVID-19 vaccination on-site at IU Health vaccination stations located at Gates 1, 6 and 9.

More Fan Information

All Speedway patrons should be aware of the following to ensure a successful day at the track:

Tickets:

Tickets for Brickyard Weekend are available for purchase at IMS.com or by walking up at the gates Friday, Aug. 13-Sunday, Aug. 15.

  • Friday, Aug. 13 – $20 for General Admission seating to see Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard practice and Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix practice and qualifying. Children 15 and under are admitted free with paying adult.
  • Saturday, Aug. 14 – $40 for General Admission seating for Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard and Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix in North Vista Wheelchair, Turn 2 Mounds, Hulman South Mounds, Hulman North Mounds, Turn 4 Mounds, South Terrace, South Terrace – East, Tower Terrace (75-79) and Paddock (9-12). Flex seating locations are available in Southwest Vista (1-10), H Stand (1-6) and Northwest Vista (16-20) for $55 per adult. Children 15 and under are admitted free with paying adult in General Admission and Flex seating locations. Reserved seats start at $60.
  • Sunday, Aug. 15 – $40 for General Admission seating for the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard in North Vista Wheelchair, Turn 2 Mounds, Hulman South Mounds, Hulman North Mounds and Turn 4 Mounds. Flex seating locations are available in Tower Terrace (75-79), Southwest Vista (1-10), H Stand (1-6) and Northwest Vista (16-20) for $55 per adult. Children 15 and under are admitted free with paying adult in General Admission and Flex seating locations. Reserved seats start at $50.

Public Parking:

Parking for Brickyard Weekend is available in a variety of locations inside and around the track. Parking can be purchased on-site or in advance. Race fans can visit IMS.com to purchase available parking passes.

Friday Parking

  • Free parking is available in Lot 7 (North 40) and Turn 3 Infield. Race fans must enter through Gate 10 from 30th Street.
  • Paid parking is available in Lot 1B, Lot 2, Lot 3G and Main Gate for $10.

Saturday Parking

  • Free parking is available in Lot 7 (North 40). Race fans must enter through Gate 10 from 30th Street.
  • Paid parking is available in Lot 1B, Lot 2, Lot 3G and Main Gate for $20, Turn 3 Infield (pre-paid) for $25, Lot 6A for $40 and Gate 1 for $75.

Sunday Parking

  • Free parking is available in Lot 7 (North 40). Race fans must enter through Gate 10 from 30th Street.
  • Paid parking is available in Lot 1B, Lot 2, Lot 3G and Main Gate for $20, Turn 3 Infield (pre-paid) for $25, Lot 6A for $40 and Gate 1 for $75.

Cashless Operations:

IMS concession stands and merchandise locations are cashless. Tap-to-pay phone payments will be accepted, as will credit and debit transactions. However, for gate admission and parking, both cash and credit will be accepted.

Pedestrian Gate Entry:

Friday

  • Public pedestrian gates open: Gate 1, Gate 2, Gate 6S, Gate 7 South, Gate 7 Vehicle, Gate 9, Gate 10, Gate 10A

Saturday

  • Public pedestrian gates open: Gate 1, Gate 2, Gate 3, Gate 6S, Gate 6N, Gate 7S, Gate 7 Vehicle, Gate 9, Gate 10, Gate 10A, Gate 11A

Sunday

  • Public pedestrian gates open: Gate 1, Gate 2, Gate 3, Gate 6S, Gate 6N, Gate 7S, Gate 7 Vehicle, Gate 9, Gate 10, Gate 10A, Gate 11A

IMS Museum:

The IMS Museum, located inside Gate 2 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will be open Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for guests over the age of 62 and $8 for guests ages 6-15. Children 5 and under and Museum members are free. Race fans can walk to the IMS Museum from within the Speedway’s infield.

After 1 p.m. on Friday, all IMS Museum visitors must possess an event ticket or credential to enter the Museum. Gate 2 will not be open for parking at the Museum.

Digital Tickets:

Digital tickets can be accessed on the IMS App or on a smartphone’s web browser. Fans are encouraged to ensure the brightness on their phone is turned up before approaching the gate for a seamless scanning of their digital ticket. Race fans are also encouraged to visit the IMS Digital Ticket guide to manage their digital tickets and enhance their at-track experience.

Weekend Street Parking:

Parking restrictions in the Town of Speedway will be enforced during Brickyard Weekend. No parking will be allowed on the south and east sides of any street bound by 25th Street on the north, Georgetown Road on the east, Lynhurst Drive on the west and Crawfordsville Road on the south from 6 p.m. Thursday through 8 p.m. Sunday.

Other streets requiring restricted parking are Main Street between 10th and 16th Streets and 16th Street from Main Street to Lynhurst Drive. During race weekend, three hour parking will be monitored and enforced on both sides of Main Street between 10th Street and 16th Street.

Road Closures:

Race fans should be aware of multiple road closures before making their way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Brickyard Weekend. Those include:

  • Speedway Police Department will close Georgetown Road to vehicular traffic south of 25th Street one hour before the start of the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on Saturday, Aug. 14 and one hour before the start of the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard on Sunday, Aug. 15.
  • Speedway Police Department will also close 16th Street between Olin Avenue and the roundabout one hour before the start of the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix and the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard. Additionally, 16th Street will not be accessible from Polco Street, as it will be blocked at 10th Street.
  • The Indiana Department of Transportation is reconstructing the I-65/I-70 interchange between the north split and Washington Street in downtown Indianapolis. I-70 eastbound and westbound traffic will be routed around I-465. I-65 northbound and southbound traffic will be routed through the south split, I-70 and I-465. Drivers southbound on I-65 will not be able to enter westbound I-70, and drivers northbound on I-65 will not be able to enter eastbound I-70.

Additional Resources and Information

Drivers can learn the locations of work zones and highway restrictions by calling INDOT’s TrafficWise at 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or viewing an online map at pws.trafficwise.org or visiting @TrafficWise on Twitter.

No coolers larger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches can be brought into the facility, which will be strictly enforced. Fans will be allowed to bring one cooler and one standard backpack or book bag per person.

For more information regarding access to IMS, visit IMS.com. For additional information, follow on Twitter the Indiana State Police @IndStatePolice, the Speedway Police Department @SpeedwayPD or listen to radio stations WFNI-FM 107.5/WFNI-AM 1070 or WIBC-FM 93.1.

The Speedway Police Department can be reached for non-emergency services by dialing 311 on a cell phone. The goal of 311 is to provide an easy-to-remember number for non-emergency services while freeing up 911 lines for timely emergency response.

Statements on Passing of Iconic Motorsports Broadcaster Bob Jenkins

INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, Aug. 9, 2021) – Statements from Roger Penske and Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles on legendary motorsports broadcaster and announcer Bob Jenkins, who died Aug. 9 at 73 after a valiant fight with cancer:

Roger Penske, Chairman, Penske Entertainment Corp.

“Bob Jenkins had an incredible passion for racing and his enthusiasm, combined with his genuine love and knowledge of the sport, endeared him to motorsports fans all over the world. His announcing career spanned nearly 50 years, and to an entire generation, the sound of Bob’s voice simply meant it was time to go racing. That legendary voice became the soundtrack for the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We will miss Bob’s kindness, his professionalism and his unique ability to bring us all closer to the track with his stories and insights. Our thoughts are with Bob’s family and his many friends throughout the racing community and beyond.”

J. Douglas Boles, President, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

“I grew up a fan of all racing, but especially the Indy 500. As a kid and young adult, to keep up with the sport I had to read newspaper articles and racing magazines. And then came Bob Jenkins. His familiar IMS Radio Network voice transitioned to the familiar TV screen on shows like ‘SpeedWeek’ and race broadcasts, and he led the transformation of the way race fans enjoyed the sport, which fueled amazing growth in auto racing. But through all the successes, Bob never changed from what he truly was at heart – a race fan. His humility and ability to always remain a fan – even when he was the top racing commentator in the sport – is why race fans around the world loved watching or listening to a race called by Bob Jenkins. He was one of us! Thank you, Bob, for loving our sport so much and working so hard to tell the stories in a way that brought us all along with you. You will be missed, but the love of racing you’ve help grow in so many will be a lasting legacy.”

Legendary Motorsports Broadcaster Jenkins Dies at 73

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2021) – Veteran radio and television broadcaster Bob Jenkins, a former “Voice of the 500” inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame in 2019, died Aug. 9 at age 73 after a valiant fight with cancer. The voice of the Liberty, Indiana, native was heard globally over five decades…

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Four-Time ‘500’ Winners’ Club Welcomes New Member on Special Day at IMS

The quartet of four-time Indianapolis 500 winners with the Borg-Warner Trophy (Photo Courtesy of Penske Entertainment)

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, July 21, 2021) — A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears, the first race car drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 four times, have been photographed together many times over the years, including a famous session for the cover of the event’s official program in 2013.

But with each passing year, it seemed those images might stand as a permanent reflection of Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s most prestigious club. After all, 29 races were held following Mears’ fourth “500” in 1991, and while a few drivers earned their second win during that time, only Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti notched a third. Franchitti ran his last “500” in 2013, the year after scoring victory No. 3.

With so much parity in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Castroneves turning 46 prior to this year’s race and switching teams – from Team Penske to Meyer Shank Racing – the odds of him winning a fourth didn’t seem as good as they had been in years past. But when Castroneves held off Alex Palou for the victory in the 105th Running on May 30, everyone knew a new gathering of “The Club” needed to take place.

That meeting was held Tuesday in Indianapolis. And yes, plenty of new photographs were taken. IMS photographer Chris Owens said he literally took thousands, more than he’d take on a normal race day.

Castroneves has experienced a wide range of emotions in the two months since wildly celebrating on the front straightaway, but spending the day with Foyt, Unser and Mears made it all the more magical.

“What else can I say, these guys since I’ve been here, they’ve been the standard of Indianapolis,” he said with the legends sitting to his left at an IMS conference table overlooking the track. “I’ve always been looking after those guys. For me, I still can’t believe it. Every time I’m with them it blows my mind. They helped me to set the goals, and I really pushed for it.”

Castroneves struggled to put in words what winning the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge means to him. Saying it put him in “cloud nine” doesn’t do it justice, he said.

“I think 10 or 11, whatever clouds you can put above, I’m still there,” he said.

Castroneves even gathered a winner’s ring from each driver, lining them up on the table to be photographed.

“Mine is the one still shaking,” he said. “It’s too excited.”

Mears, who was Castroneves’ spotter for his first three wins here, seemed to smile with every word the Brazilian spoke, particularly those made out of respect to the legends he has joined.

“I kind of know how he’s feeling because I’ve heard him say a little bit about it,” Mears said. “When I won my fourth, to get up here with two of my heroes, even though the (number of Indy wins) were the same, I was still not in their category. To be with them was incredible, and I’m pretty sure Helio feels the same way.”

Said Unser: “It’s nice to be called a hero.”

Castroneves asked the other drivers what to expect as a four-time winner. As usual, Foyt was the most blunt.

“No different than if you win it once,” he said. “You got your first one; that’s what counts.”

The significance of the gathering of Indy legends can’t be understated. Even in motorsports, where speed is the ultimate pursuit, time waits for no one. Foyt is 86, Unser 82, Mears 69. All three have attended fewer INDYCAR races with each passing year.

Yes, all three were at IMS during the recent Month of May, but Unser left the track with about 10 laps to go to beat the traffic as he caught a flight home to New Mexico.

‘’He knew I was going to win, no matter what,” Castroneves said with a laugh.

While Foyt was on his team’s pit stand at the end of the race, he hadn’t been feeling well, so he didn’t stick around for the celebration. Mears had left his perch in the IMS Pagoda to watch the final dozen or so laps in the quiet of Team Penske’s Gasoline Alley garage, which took him out of the public eye at the finish.

But make no mistake about it: All three were cheering for the popular Castroneves.

“(As a driver) you want to continue winning if you’re going to race, but if you’re not going to race then you cheer for someone like Helio to make it happen,” Unser said. “Hopefully, if he’s your favorite, he does it. If not, goodbye Charlie.”

IMS owner Roger Penske, whose Team Penske organization fielded Indy-winning cars for Mears (four), Castroneves (three) and Unser (one), joined the conversation via video call from his office in Detroit.

“What a great day!” said Penske, whose team has won the race a record 18 times. “I can’t wait to get an autographed picture from each one of you. It will be special in my office.”

Track president Doug Boles noted that 784 drivers have started the “500” and only 20 have won it more than once.

“Some days the racetrack smiles on you, and some days you have it the other way,” Unser said. “You never think you’re going to win because your chances are very slim. There’s 32 other guys who want to win as bad as you do.”

The other aspect of “The Club” is that for a period of time it seemed less exclusive. While it took 61 years for Foyt to become the event’s first four-time member in 1977, Unser matched him 10 years later and Mears did so only four years after that. Then in quick fashion Emerson Fittipaldi and Al Unser Jr. became two-time winners.

Even Castroneves, who made his IMS debut in 2001, seemed to be on the fast track to membership, winning the race in his first two attempts and then achieving No. 3 in his ninth start, in 2009. But while he came close to a fourth on a couple of occasions – he won the pole for the 2010 race and finished second to Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2014 and Takuma Sato in 2017 – victory lane eluded him 11 straight years. He was running out of chances. Hence, the elation after crossing the finish line.

“Forget about the person, the (winning) driver,” Castroneves said. “After the pandemic and to have so many people back (at IMS), making history, giving a first-time win for a team that’s never won, and my personal thing getting my No. 4. When you put all the emotions and scenarios together, it was just a very special event.”

Castroneves asked about a membership fee for the four-time club. He said he hoped at a minimum there would be a card he could carry around.

Said Mears: “The fee will triple if you win five.”

So, could there be a fifth member of the club and if so, whom might it be? Only two active drivers have won the “500” more than once: Juan Pablo Montoya (2000 and 2015) and Takuma Sato (2017 and 2020). But if Castroneves has something to say about it, the bar could soon be a notch higher.

It should be noted that Foyt, Unser and Mears all took shots at a fifth only to come up short. Foyt made 15 attempts after his fourth win, finishing second to Mears in 1979 and scoring five additional top-10 finishes. Unser made five more starts after his fourth, with third-place finishes in 1988 and ’92. Mears took one more shot in 1992, but a mid-race accident spoiled his record-setting bid.

Yes, a fifth “500” win can be achieved, but it won’t be easy. However, if someone scores it, it won’t be difficult to arrange the photograph.

“Records are made to be broken, that’s how you’ve got to look at it,” Foyt said.

“Just remember,” Mears told Castroneves, “if you get five, you’ll be lonely.”

Today at the Track: Sunday, May 30

Sunday, May 30

INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 29, 2021) – Information about Race Day for the 105th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

SCHEDULE: (All times local)

  • 5 a.m.-1 p.m.: Ticket and Credential Office Open
  • 6 a.m.: Public Gates Open
  • 8:30 a.m.: All Cars in Pit Lane, Team Pit Boxes
  • 9 a.m.: NBCSN On-Air
  • 9:04 a.m.: Borg-Warner Trophy March Begins
  • 9:15 a.m.: 500 Festival Princess Lap
  • 9:45 a.m.: Borg-Warner Trophy March Departs from Band Gate
  • 9:57 a.m.: Borg-Warner Trophy March Arrives at Yard of Bricks
  • 10:16 a.m.: “On the Banks of the Wabash” – Purdue Band
  • 10:28 a.m.: IU Health Green Flag Delivery – Turn 1
  • 10:30 a.m.: All Cars on Grid
  • 10:37 a.m.: Green Flag & Past Winners’ Lap
  • 10:53 a.m.: Historic Race Cars Laps
  • 11 a.m.: NBC On-Air
  • 11:25 a.m.: Military Appreciation Lap
  • 11:32 a.m.: Red Bull Aces Race Begins
  • 11:49 a.m.: Indianapolis 500 Driver Introductions
  • 12:08 p.m.: Military March
  • 12:12 p.m.: “America the Beautiful” – Victory Podium
  • 12:15 p.m.: Military Address – U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. David Krumm, Victory Podium
  • 12:18 p.m.: Presentation of Colors – Trackside Stage
  • 12:19 p.m.: Invocation – Archbishop Charles Thompson, Archdiocese of Indianapolis
  • 12:20 p.m.: Rifle Volley – Victory Podium
  • 12:21 p.m.: “Taps”
  • 12:22 p.m.: “God Bless America” – U.S. Navy veteran and gospel music performer Generald Wilson
  • 12:26 p.m.: National Anthem – Jimmie Allen
  • 12:27 p.m.: First Flyover – U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets from the 187th Fighter Wing
  • 12:29 p.m.: “Drivers, To Your Cars” – Dude Perfect Cast
  • 12:36 p.m.: “Back Home Again in Indiana” – Jim Cornelison
  • 12:37 p.m.: Second Flyover – U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets from the 187th Fighter Wing
  • 12:38 p.m.: Command to Start Engines – IMS Chairman Roger Penske, Victory Podium
  • 12:45 p.m.: Green Flag, 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge (200 Laps). Flag waved by Milo Ventimiglia.

PUBLIC GATES OPEN (6 a.m.): Gate 1, Gate 1B.1, Gate 1C, Gate 2, Gate 3, Gate 4, Gate 5N, Gate 5B, Gate 6N, Gate 6S, Gate 6B, Gate 7S, Gate 9, Gate 9A, Gate 10, Gate 10A, Gate 11A, Gate 11B, Gate 11C, Gate 12.

STANDS OPEN: All stands open, reserved seating only. No General Admission and no mounds access.

PARKING LOTS OPEN (5 a.m.): All lots open. Day of sales for Lot 3G (automobiles) while inventory remains. All ADA parking is prepaid and sold out.

TRANSPORTATION: Rideshare drop off/pick up location: 16th Street and Polco Street (Main Gate East). 

IMS MUSEUM HOURS (6 a.m.-4 p.m.): Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for guests over age 62 and $8 for guests ages 6-15. Race fans can walk to the IMS Museum from the Speedway’s infield, and a free shuttle will run between the IMS Museum and tram stops located at 6th & Hulman and Tunnel 10. Pedestrians on the south end of the racetrack can access the IMS Museum via Gate 2. Visitors should park in open IMS lots. IMS Museum visitors must possess an event ticket or credential to enter the Museum. Gate 2 will not be open for parking at the Museum.

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