The Racing Capital
of the World
May 20, 2012 | By Mark Dill
Once again the roar of engines by Offenhauser, Miller, Ford and Studebaker will be heard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Legend’s Day Honoring Roger Penske presented by Shell on Saturday, May 26. Vintage racers of Indy 500s ranging from the very first race in 1911 into the 1990’s will take to the track during an extended period of track time from 9:20 to 10:20 am.
Among some of the great machines entered are the 1955 Kurtis Kraft Bardahl Special, the 1959 Epperley Bowes Seal Fast Special and a car entered by the Granatelli Brothers in 1949. The Speedway will be crowded with Watsons, Eagles, Kuzmas, Penskes, Lolas and Marches. Among the more unique entries are a Lotus-Turbine, a pair of Huffaker-Offys and a 1938 Miller. The oldest car entered was constructed in 1909, the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) entry that competed in the first Indy 500 and was classified 33rd in a 40-car field.
Joe Freeman, the owner of the A.J. Watson-built Joe Hunt Magneto Special that driver Al Herman drove to 32nd place in 1960 finds driving his prized race car at the Brickyard an emotional experience. “Driving here means so much to me. The entire experience exudes the history – it’s as if my car says, ‘I’m home.’ I feel I am home as well – it touches my soul.”
Tom Malloy, the owner of two of Roger Penske’s cars, including the one Bobby Unser drove to victory in 1981 expressed similar feelings. “It’s very special that on a day the Speedway is honoring Roger Penske I will have two of his most important Penske chassis cars running on the track and paying tribute to his success.”
Other featured events on “Legends Day Honoring Roger Penske presented by Shell” will include the annual Public Drivers’ Meeting on pit road adjacent to the Tower Terrace grandstand, autograph sessions with the 2012 Indianapolis 500 starting field of 33 drivers and former Indy 500 drivers, and a huge Indianapolis 500 memorabilia show featuring vendors from the United States, Europe and Australia. As special honoree of the day, Roger Penske will participate in a question-and-answer session with fans on the Coca-Cola Stage in the Pagoda Plaza, followed by a brief autograph session in the Speedway’s “Legends Club.” Admission to IMS will be $10 for adults, with children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult.