News & Multimedia

Michigan Pilot Wins Founders Race At IMS Centennial Era Balloon Festival By AT&T

Photos: Founders Race | Glow, Concert

Michigan balloonist David Jacques won the Founders Race on Sunday, May 9 in the 2010 Centennial Era Balloon Festival presented by AT&T at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The race, rescheduled from May 8 due to weather, used the “hare and hound” format in which competitors followed the lead AT&T balloon (the hare), with the balloonist who tossed a beanbag closest to the hare’s landing zone winning.

Jacques, piloting the Post Foods balloon, won the Founders Race with a winning distance of 2 feet, 4 inches from the mark.

“After a tough day of weather yesterday, it was a great day for flying today,” Jacques said. “It’s just an honor to be part of the track’s Centennial celebrations.”

Jacques took home a trophy and $3,750.

Paul Petrehn of Howell, Mich., finished second in his unsponsored “sport” balloon with a distance of 3 feet, 1.5 inches. Third place went to Chase Donner, a sport pilot, Butler University graduate and resident of Atlanta, with a distance of 5 feet, 7 inches. Petrehn and Donner also earned IMS Centennial Era watches.

Petrehn won the 100 Years Race at the inaugural Centennial Era Balloon Festival presented by AT&T in 2009, and Jacques placed third in that same event.

In a coincidental yet fitting tribute to Mother’s Day, most of the balloons flying in the race landed in a field on the southwest side of Indianapolis, behind the residence of Justin and Amie Martens. Amie Martens gave birth to a baby girl, Sydney, just five days ago.

The Martens’ family greeted the balloonists, and Amie Martens told Centennial Era Balloon Festival Manager Scott McClinton, “As the balloons landed, I told Justin, ‘You have given me balloons for my first Mother’s Day!’”

The 2010 Centennial Era Balloon Festival presented by AT&T served as a kickoff to an exciting month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Indianapolis Star Opening Day for the 2010 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race scheduled for Saturday, May 15. Seven consecutive days of IZOD IndyCar Series practice lead up to an intense qualifying weekend on May 22-23, with Pole Day on Saturday and Bump Day on Sunday.

Traditional Race Week track activities include American Family Insurance 500 Festival Community Day on Wednesday, May 26, Firestone Freedom 100 practice and qualifying on Thursday, May 27, Miller Lite Carb Day practice, Firestone Freedom 100 race, Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and Miller Lite Carb Day Concert featuring ZZ Top on Friday, May 28, the public drivers meeting Saturday, May 29 and the 2010 running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indianapolis 500, at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 30.


2010 Indy 500 tickets: Tickets for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 30, 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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