BY SAM AHRENS | Ball State Sports Link
The “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is upon us once again.
We are just a couple of weeks away from the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 and this year is expected to be almost as big as last year’s race.
Last year’s 100th running was the first sellout at the track in 20 years. More than 300,000 people packed inside the 2.5 mile oval.
“I think our attendance is going to be better than it’s been in the last 20 years, with the exception of last year, which we expect,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles at the unveiling of the race’s banner at the downtown JW Marriott earlier this year.
“IndyCar is really focused on what’s next,” Boles said. “What’s the next generation, but what makes (IMS) so special and different is our history and tradition. … So while last year was a great opportunity for us to really celebrate our history, this year we’re going to celebrate our history, but it’s also the beginning of what’s next. And we’ll continue to focus on what’s next. And that’s what so powerful about this brand: It’s able to live in both worlds.”
The track does a great job of appealing to its fans locally — and especially the Midwest — to get fans to attend. The main attractions besides the race are the concerts. This year for Carburetion Day (Carb Day), the Friday before the race filled with different events, the track has landed the Steve Miller Band and Barenaked Ladies to perform concerts for the fans.
Legends Day, the Saturday before the race where fans meet and get autographs from the drivers, Keith Urban will be performing.
On Sunday, starting at eight in the morning and all the way until the halfway mark of the race, the Snake Pit will be full of EDM artists performing. This year’s headliners are RL Grime, Marshmello and Zedd.
The track hit somewhat close to home when they announced that Jim Cornelison, who is famous for his national anthem for the Chicago Blackhawks, will be singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” before the start of the race.
The race will also see an increase in global attention with the announcement that F1 driver, Fernando Alonso, will be participating in the upcoming race. With all the concerts, celebrities and new drivers making an appearance, tickets are going fast.
This year’s race is scheduled for May 28, 2017.
Schedule of Events
- 06:00am – Public Gates Open
- 06:00am – 12:20pm – IMS Midway Open
- 07:00am – Snake Pit Gates Open
- 08:00am – Borg-Warner Trophy March to the Bricks Begins from IMS Museum
- 08:00am – Parade of Bands
- 08:15am – Borg-Warner Trophy March to the Bricks Arrives at Checkpoint 1 – 4th Street
- 08:30am – Borg-Warner Trophy March to the Bricks Arrives at Checkpoint 2 – Pagoda Plaza
- 08:30am – 10:00am – Celebrity Red Carpet – Pagoda Plaza
- 08:45am – Borg-Warner Trophy March to the Bricks Arrives at Checkpoint 3 – IMS Midway
- 09:00am – 500 Festival Princess Parade Laps
- 09:35am – Purdue Band Leads Borg-Warner Trophy to Yard of Bricks
- 10:05am – “On the Banks of the Wabash” performed by Purdue University Band
- 10:29am – Green Flag delivered by IU Health Helicopter in Turn 1
- 10:39am – Indianapolis 500 Winning Drivers Laps
- 10:57am – Historic Race Car Laps
- 11:35am – Indianapolis 500 Driver Introductions
- 11:44am – Military March
- 11:46am – “God Bless America”
- 11:48am – Military Address
- 11:54am – Invocation delivered by Archbishop of Indianapolis
- 11:55am – Presentation of Colors
- 11:56am – “Taps”
- 11:56am – “America The Beautiful”
- 12:00pm – Veteran Salute
- 12:00pm – National Anthem
- 12:12pm – “Back Home Again In Indiana” performed by Jim Cornelison
- 12:14pm – “Drivers Start Your Engines”
- 12:19pm – 101st Running of the Indy 500 Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil – 200 Laps
- 05:00pm – Public Gates Close