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Sting Ray Robb J. Douglas Boles
IMS, INDYCAR Assist Needy during NBA All-Star Game Festivities

The ball is now rolling toward the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, and the official 100-day countdown to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on Sunday, May 26 coincided with the NBA’s 2024 All-Star Game arriving in Indianapolis.

Veteran “500” driver Conor Daly helped kick off the world-class basketball showcase by driving All-Star starter Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers to the All-Star Game’s opening ceremony. Daly, who drove a street-legal NTT INDYCAR SERIES two-seat race car, also suited up for the All-Star Celebrity Game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Indianapolis does big events so well, and to combine our love of the Indy 500 with the NBA is special,” said Daly, an Indianapolis native and resident. “Basketball and racing are very much Indiana’s roots.”

Fellow NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Sting Ray Robb, who also lives in Indianapolis, joined more than 700 members of auto racing’s local ecosystem – Penske Entertainment staffers, race team members, series partners and race fans – in the NBA All-Star’s Million Meal Movement. The meals they assembled Friday morning will be delivered to affiliated Indiana food banks in NTT INDYCAR SERIES transporters.

“It’s good for INDYCAR to have partnered with the NBA, the Pacers and Lucas Oil Stadium for a great cause,” said Robb, who worked alongside IMS President J. Douglas Boles in sealing and packing a few hundred meals. “Coming together like that is great way to have a big impact, and it was great to see so many of our (INDYCAR community) involved.”

From the squeak of sneakers on the basketball court to the roar of engines on the Yard of Bricks, Indianapolis is where champions are crowned. IMS and INDYCAR assembled a week of programming around the annual NBA All-Star Game to showcase and celebrate the rich history of motorsport and basketball in Indiana.

Throughout All-Star Week, the IMS pylon has featured a countdown to Sunday’s game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Tony Kanaan, the “500” winner in 2013, voiced a “Love Letter to Basketball” video shared on social channels.

NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Pietro Fittipaldi gave NBA Brasil an IMS tour while TNT, which is televising this weekend’s NBA All-Star activities, has gathered “500” content for its broadcasts.

Red Bull athlete Chris Matthews, aka Lethal Shooter, created a “Hoop of Bricks” and made trick shots from the 2023 Indy 500 Pace Car and from the IMS flag stand.

It’s been a celebration of two of Indiana’s longstanding passions – basketball and racing.

“(We) hope to make our hometown proud,” Daly said.

In 100 days, reigning “500” champion Josef Newgarden of Team Penske will try to give Roger Penske’s organization its record-extending 20th victory in the event. The race annually has more than 300,000 spectators in attendance.

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