News & Multimedia

100th Anniversary Indy 500 Steps Into Bright Lights Of New York

The Indianapolis 500 stepped into the spotlights of New York on Wednesday, March 23, as a host of legendary drivers, officials and dignitaries met with national and international media to promote the 100th Anniversary of the great race this May.

Past and present Indianapolis 500 drivers talked with editors, reporters and producers from leading mainstream, non-sports media outlets at The Classic Car Club in lower Manhattan, including 1969 winner Mario Andretti, three-time winner Helio Castroneves, 2010 Rookie of the Year Simona de Silvestro and Ryan Briscoe.

Four Indianapolis 500 cars from the 1950s and 1960s, a current IZOD IndyCar Series car and the Indy Racing Experience two-seater car were on display at the event to promote “The Most Important Race in History” on Sunday, May 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The unique blend of history and hip at the presentation also included dozens of images and videos of star drivers and significant moments from the past century of speed at the Indianapolis 500, showcasing the impressive variety of stories – both historical and current, sports and general entertainment – surrounding this year’s race.

Presentations were made by Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and CEO Jeff Belskus, INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard and Mike Kelly, executive vice president for PVH, which sponsors the IZOD IndyCar Series through its IZOD brand.

Belskus emphasized the significance of the Indianapolis 500 as the world’s most prestigious race and its position of prominence in motorsports, automotive development and the entertainment community over the last 100 years. He also pointed to a continued bright future for the race as it renews significant emphasis as a proving ground for new transportation technology, starting with the Emerging Tech Day on Saturday, May 7 at IMS.

Bernard talked about the increasing profile of the IZOD IndyCar Series, with its focus on fans, value and exciting storylines for 2011. He also indicated that development of the new 2012 car and engine continues and will be on display soon for fans, teams and drivers.

Kelly praised the incredible value and access of the IZOD IndyCar Series for PVH, illustrating to business and lifestyle media why IZOD’s partnership with INDYCAR has been so successful at reaching customers, building brand awareness and increasing sales. The robust opportunities presented by a century of history surrounding the Indianapolis 500 also are a key part of that success, Kelly said.

New INDYCAR-themed television advertisements by IZOD and Honda also were previewed to attendees.

There were many light moments when drivers spoke to the media. Mario Andretti was asked what he thought about when he flipped after hitting debris during a test run in 2003 at Indianapolis, at age 63.

“I was just hoping that there were no vacancies upstairs,” Andretti said.

Castroneves expressed his desire this May to become just the fourth four-time winner of the race when Team Penske teammate Briscoe joked, “You’re too greedy. You’ve got three already. Give some of the rest of us a chance.”

The two-hour event closed with Belskus offering a toast to those who built the Indianapolis 500 into “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” over the last 100 years, and best wishes for another 100 years of triumph, passion and memories started by a safe, exciting and fast 2011 Indianapolis 500.


2011 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, “The Most Important Race in History,” on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at, 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 be 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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