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U.S. Military To Be Honored Through Salutes On Brickyard 400 Race Day

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will continue its long-standing tradition of honoring the United States military during pre-race ceremonies for the 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com on Sunday, July 31.

Salutes to the military occupy many special moments during the pomp and pageantry of pre-race ceremonies on Race Day, a tradition at IMS events since the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911 and the first Brickyard 400 in 1994.

Desert Storm/Desert Shield salute: A 20th anniversary celebration honoring U.S. military veterans who served in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield, during which Coalition forces drove Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi troops out of Kuwait in 1991, will take place during pre-race ceremonies July 31.

A parade lap will feature 86 Desert Storm veterans riding in 43 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up trucks.
Prior to the race, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard – a Desert Storm veteran – will deliver a speech honoring the U.S. military. Representatives of all five branches of the U.S. military will join Ballard on stage.

Veterans of Desert Storm/Shield from all branches of the U.S. military are encouraged to participate in the salute. Veterans are asked to dress in attire that represents the time of conflict in which they served. Each participant will receive two Brickyard 400 tickets and free round-trip transportation between Stout Field in Indianapolis and IMS.

“The 18th annual Brickyard 400 will once again put the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the national spotlight, and we will use this opportunity to honor the men and women who have helped shape and protect this nation and our freedoms,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. “I am particularly pleased to honor the 20th anniversary of Desert Storm, and I know that Brickyard 400 fans look forward to saluting some of these brave men and women who will be participating in this year’s pre-race ceremonies.”

Said Ballard: “Twenty years ago, Desert Storm and Desert Shield had a profound impact on our nation, our community, our service men and women, and their families. The opening ceremonies at the Brickyard 400 this year offer Indianapolis a unique opportunity to honor the sacrifices of all who served during that time of conflict. I encourage any Desert Storm/Shield veterans in Central Indiana who can participate on Race Day to do so and to help make this a special event.”

An additional group of more than 180 Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield veterans from 38 U.S. states will participate in other patriotic pre-race ceremonies that pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the American military during this conflict.

Iraq War salute from Miller, IMS: As part of its highly popular “Give a Veteran a Piece of The High Life” program, Miller High Life Beer is joining with IMS to honor Iraq War veterans.

Following driver introductions on Race Day, each of the 43 drivers in the Brickyard 400 field will climb on the back of a Chevrolet Silverado and be joined by an Iraq War veteran for a ceremonial lap around the famed 2.5-mile IMS oval.

IMS is proud to participate in the “Give a Veteran a Piece of The High Life” program, which provides the means that pay soldiers' way into sports events, concerts, outdoor adventures and more. For every High Life cap or tab dropped off at participating retailers or mailed in, Miller High Life will donate 10 cents toward High Life Experiences for returning vets. Click here for more information.

Flyover: The traditional pre-race flyover will feature four U.S. Navy T-45 Goshawks, land-based training jet aircraft.

The flyover will recognize the 100th anniversary of U.S. Naval Aviation, as Naval Aviation has grown from a tactical afterthought to a primary instrument of national defense.

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2011 Brickyard 400 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 2011 Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 31 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at www.imstix.com, 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 2011 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.

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