May 25, 2013  |   By Taylor Clauson

Indy 500 Public Drivers' Meeting Prepares Field For Race Day

Drivers in the 97th Indianapolis 500 received final instructions and awards Saturday, May 25 in the public drivers’ meeting, the final activity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the race Sunday, May 26.

The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at noon (ET) Sunday. The race will be broadcast live on ABC, the IMS Radio Network, including XM 211 and Sirius 211, with pre-race shows beginning at 11 a.m.

To begin the meeting, Al Speyer, who is retiring as executive director, Firestone Racing, was presented with the Andy Granatelli Unsung Hero Award. This award is presented every year to someone within the industry that has advanced the sport of auto racing.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti and his team owner, Chip Ganassi of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, each accepted a “Baby Borg” trophy from James Verrier, president and CEO of BorgWarner, for being the winning driver and car owner at the 96th Indianapolis 500. The Baby Borg is a miniature replica of the famed Borg-Warner Trophy, which bears the bas-relief likeness, name and average speed of every Indianapolis 500 winner. Franchitti also was honored and presented with the Champ of Champs Award.

Verrier then presented a “Baby Borg” to Parnelli Jones in honor of the 50th anniversary of his Indianapolis 500 win in 1963.

Speyer then presented Franchitti and Ganassi with their winning driver and car owner’s ring, an honor Speyer was granted this year as a salute to his years of dedication and service to Indy-car racing.

Deb Osza, general manager of Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, presented a plaque with an American Dairy Association milk bottle to Franchitti for his victory in 2012.

Herff Jones rings were given to all 33 drivers in this year’s starting field and one special guest at this year’s Indianapolis 500 – San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, who drive the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Pace Car on Sunday.

Also honored during the 30-minute public drivers’ meeting were 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2012 Firestone Indy Lights champion Tristan Vautier and 2012 Firestone Freedom 100 winner Esteban Guerrieri. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports owner Sam Schmidt, who fielded Guerrieri’s winning car, accepted the award on behalf of Guerrieri, who was unable to attend due to racing commitments.

Beaux Barfield, IZOD IndyCar Series race director, concluded the driver’s meeting by discussing race rules and guidelines with the drivers.


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2013 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 97th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 26 at IMS.

Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at www.ims.com/tickets, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Children 12 and under will receive free general admission to any IMS event in 2013 when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.