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California Boy Teaches Classmates About Indianapolis 500 History, Tradition

On June 17, 6-year-old Californian Jesse Perin took a break from his interest in skateboarding and BMX racing to serve as an ambassador for the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Wearing a makeshift suit and an Indianapolis 500 reporter’s pin, Perin prepared and practiced to tell the story of the Indianapolis 500 on “Share Day” before his first-grade class at Spreckels Bilingual Magnet School in University City, Calif.

Just before leaving for school, Perin excitedly ran out of his room with a handful of toy diecast cars to aid in his presentation.

Twenty-five students quietly and attentively listened as Perin explained that the Indianapolis 500 occurs on Memorial Day weekend, a time when we thank the military for its service, and that “very, very loud” cars “fast like rockets” race to win “the big, shiny” Borg-Warner Trophy.

Perin’s classmates also learned that pit stops are for getting gas and new tires and that the Indianapolis 500 winner drinks milk in Victory Lane.

While reading the story two times, Perin passed out the pin and his diecast cars for his classmates to peruse despite concerns his cars might go missing.

After the presentation, interested first-graders peppered Perin with questions about the colors of the cars, whether they could drive the cars and who had won the Indianapolis 500. A discussion also ensued in the classroom about what kind of milk students enjoyed and which type of milk they would order if they won the Indianapolis 500.


2011 Indy 500 tickets: Fans can reorder and apply for tickets to the 2011 Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 29, online at

For more information, 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. Ticket office and phone hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

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