News & Multimedia

Ten Fans Meet Helio Through IMS Contest On Facebook, Twitter

IMS On Facebook | IMS On Twitter

It's only fitting that one of the most social Indianapolis 500 winners in recent memory greeted winners of a trivia contest staged by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway exclusively on popular social networks Facebook and Twitter.

Ten Indianapolis 500 fans enjoyed special access Jan. 12 to three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves by answering selected trivia questions about Castroneves in a contest Jan. 8 on Facebook and Twitter.

Winners watched a screening of a Castroneves tribute video with media and officials in the Hulman Theatre at the IMS Hall of Fame Museum, after which Castroneves answered questions from the winners and media. Winners also had their picture taken with Castroneves and the Borg-Warner Trophy and had a special viewing area to watch Castroneves unveil his likeness on the trophy and receive his Herff Jones Champion of Champions Ring.

"Having followed the IZOD IndyCar Series for many years, I have come to respect Helio, both as a driver and a person, so being offered the opportunity to be an invited guest of IMS at the celebration is something words may not properly describe," said David Craske of Indianapolis, one of the contest winners. "It is an event I will remember for years and will unquestionably pass along stories of meeting one of the Speedway's most revered champions."

The special fan access to Castroneves through the trivia contest on Facebook and Twitter is a recent example of the Speedway's vigorous and growing efforts in the burgeoning area of social media. IMS has been an active participant on Facebook ( and Twitter ( for more than a year.

IMS uses social media to offer exclusive retail promotions and giveaways, including race tickets and signed merchandise. Event information, live statistics and links to racing-related stories and multimedia from around the Web and from fans are promoted, discussed and shared on IMS social media. For example, many of the Castroneves social media winners shared their experience through posts and photos on Facebook and Twitter.

And most importantly, Facebook and Twitter provide IMS with a direct, immediate line of two-way communication with fans.

"I've been on Facebook since 2004 and on Twitter since 2006, and I haven't seen an organization interact with other users and follow up with an unforgettable experience like this in the past," Helio trivia contest winner Mitch Doner of Indianapolis said.

The Speedway's active efforts also are helping to drive more traffic to IMS public Web sites and social networks. During the week of Jan. 3-9, when the Helio trivia contest took place, these gains were seen from the prior week at the respective sites:

•Visits to jumped 80 percent.

•Visits to the IMS ticket site,, jumped 38 percent.

•Visits to the IMS Online Store,, jumped 17.9 percent.

•There was a 21.4 percent increase in new fans to the IMS Facebook page. There was a 450 percent increase in interactions on the IMS Facebook page.

•There was a 50 percent increase of new followers to the IMS Twitter feed.

"I really think that the effort Indianapolis Motor Speedway is putting into the social media revolution is incredible," said Helio trivia contest winner Chris Lykins, from Cincinnati. "The contests are fun and exciting, not to mention they give me quite a buzz when competing in them.

"I can't thank IMS and their social media effort enough. Utilizing Twitter and Facebook is a great way to expand the fan base of motor racing as well as bring a new generation of supporters to the legendary Brickyard."


2010 Indy 500 tickets: Tickets for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are on sale now. Race Day ticket prices start at just $20.

Fans can order tickets online at, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Online orders can be made at any time. Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

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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