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Indiana Fever Star Catchings Joins Contest Winners in Traditional Flag Placing Cermony at IMS

Three-time Olympic gold medalist and Indiana Fever standout basketball player Tamika Catchings and two local radio contest winners participated in the traditional placement of racing flags atop the famous Wing and Wheel logo located above the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Gate 1.

The event celebrates the beginning of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season on Sunday, March 29, with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and gives notice that the second annual Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will be here soon.

Despite cold, windy and cloudy conditions for the annual ceremony, the anticipation of the 2015 IMS and Verizon IndyCar Series racing seasons kept spirits high among those securing the flags in their familiar places.

“Oh man, what an awesome experience,” said Catchings, who led the Indiana Fever to the WNBA Championship in 2012. “I never thought I’d be up that high except in an airplane. It’s really cool for what it stands for kicking off the races starting in St. Petersburg with practice rounds today, so I’m excited to be a part of it.”

The blustery conditions made it challenging for the WNBA’s 2011 Most Valuable Player to attach the flags to the IMS Gate 1 logo. “My hands are cold, but you have to be particular in getting it in the little ring, so I just didn’t want to drop it. They were making fun of me, they said ‘You’ll be the first one to drop it,’ and that couldn’t be me.”

“It was so exhilarating, it was awesome – a great experience,” said Jenna Spencer, 1070 The Fan contest winner from Indianapolis. “I’m a big race fan, I’ve been to the Indy 500 quite a few times and I really enjoy it. I won’t forget this, especially for a fan to go up there and do this for the first time, this is unbelievable.”

“It was cold, but once you got up there you didn’t even realize it and the view was amazing,” added Jeremy Bullard, WFMS contest winner from Franklin, Indiana. “To be one of the first fans to do this, it was unbelievable. I’m a huge race fan, this will be my 23rd Indianapolis 500 this year and I’ve been coming since I was a young kid.”

The 2015 Month of May will be jumpstarted by the second annual running of the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday, May 9, featuring the Verizon IndyCar Series competing on the recently reconfigured IMS road course. The event will be televised live on ABC, which on Sunday, May 24, will also televise the Indianapolis 500 for the 51st consecutive year.

ABC’s live coverage of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 29, on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, begins at 3 p.m. ET. The IMS Radio Network’s coverage also begins at 3 p.m. for affiliates, on Sirius 212 and XM 209, on and the INDYCAR 15 app.

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