LIVE BLOG: 2014 Indianapolis 500

IndyCar, IndyCar commentary — By on May 25, 2014 5:24 am
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5:33 PM ET (Steph) – So, the fears that a lot of people had about the Formula Off-road trucks running here were unfounded. Their course used the north portion of the road course — and a good portion of the grass in that area, which is now mud, so I presume someone will be receiving the bill for new sod next week sometime — but it ran along the pit exit lane and didn’t climb up onto the oval. It was hard to tell what was happening from here in the media center because there was no commentary or timing, but I saw lots of spinning, sightline-blocking lifted hoods, and a fellow named Apdaly Lopez waving a checkered flag around. They’re just a whole lot of fun to watch, anyway.

Here’s some more of the news that filtered in during track activity today. This one was interesting — Ivy Tech Community College will be a partner on Sage Karam’s car this weekend. From Chip Ganassi Racing:

Ivy Tech Community College is partnering with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and their rookie Indianapolis 500 driver, Sage Karam. Karam will be driving the No. 22 Brantley Gilbert/Comfort Revolution Chevrolet of Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing that will carry Ivy Tech branding for the 98th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, on Sunday, May 25, 2014

“We’re excited about this new opportunity to bring Ivy Tech to the Indianapolis 500,” said Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder. “In addition to making his Indy 500 debut, Sage is also a high school student, making him the perfect driver to represent Indiana’s top college choice for high school graduates. The Indy 500 is the largest single-day sporting event, and as the largest college in Indiana, we’re thrilled to be a part of the greatest spectacle in racing.”

This is the first time Ivy Tech has partnered with a race team or been on the car of an Indianapolis 500 driver. Before the race, Karam will visit Ivy Tech’s Central Indiana campus, meet with students, and tour the Automotive Technology Center, which houses a Technical Certificate program in Motorsports to prepare students for careers in the racing industry.

“Having great partners is always important to having great success on the race track and I am very happy about our partnership with Ivy Tech,” said Sage Karam. “The fact that I am just graduating from high school this spring makes the partnership all the more important to me as continuing my education will certainly be a priority. I think this partnership can help me both on and off the track.”

An Al Unser Jr. Limited Edition Chevrolet Camaro is being released:

Al Unser Jr. has partnered with Big Power Racing to design and build thirty-one Limited Edition Camaros, and will unveil car #01 Memorial Day Weekend in Indianapolis. With a host of custom upgrades and aesthetic details, the Al Unser, Jr. Limited Edition Camaro adds a high-performance, sleek, and unique addition to 31 garages around the world.

The Al Unser Jr. Limited Edition Camaro is powered by a supercharged 600-hp, 6.2L engine. Big Power Racing enables the vehicle to harness its power by customizing a superior suspension package and other intensely detailed upgrades, making this vehicle a fine-tuned and beautifully handled street machine. The Camaro features ZL1 style custom black wheels and race edition tires, combining understate style with unbeatable performance. Aesthetically, the build features a custom striping package, the “AUJ” logo, custom embroidery, and many more details to upgrade this powerhouse vehicle to a world-class piece of automotive art.

Optional features to this build include a track day with Al Unser, Jr. and the car, adding a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to any car owner. With only 31 builds in this Limited Edition soon-to-be classic, owning the Al Unser, Jr. Camaro is owning a piece of history.

The Al Unser Jr Limited Edition Camaro is available for order now. To learn more about the build or how to purchase, write to info@aujcamaro.com.

Martin Plowman has been announced as a spokesperson for 100 Million Messages @ Midnight (100MM@M), which is a program designed for youth safety, against distracted driving and road related incidents:

SPORTOCO and National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), team up with Martin Plowman, aka “Plowey,” driver of the #41 ABC Supply Honda car of A. J. Foyt Racing in the Indianapolis 500 to announce his long-term commitment as the spokesperson for 100 Million Messages @ Midnight (100MM@M), which is a program designed for youth safety, against distracted driving and road related incidents – being the #1 killer of youth ages 10-24 in the world.

“I know that every single second counts when you’re behind the wheel. I want to make sure every driver knows how to make smart decisions on the road and realizes how important it is to stay focused,” says Plowman. “Everyone needs to be conscious and safe when driving and no one needs to be distracted—whether going 35mph around town or 200mph on the track, the results are the same.” Martin and the 100MM@M gaming/app meet teens on the digital streets where 81% use social media, spending over 1.5 hours per day engaging in games. Through social media, incentives and prizes, 100 MM@M turns entertainment into education.

And IndyCar wants you to guess #WhosGonnaWin on Sunday:

INDIANAPOLIS (May 22, 2014) – Fans of INDYCAR are being challenged to predict #WhosGonnaWin the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race through an interactive social media campaign sponsored by Verizon.

Through Twitter and www.WhosGonnaWin.com, fans are invited to cast their vote by using the hashtag #WhosGonnaWin with the name of the driver they believe will take home the checkered flag in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

One fan who correctly predicts Sunday’s winner will be randomly selected to receive a visit from the 2014 Indy 500 Champion accompanied by the Borg-Warner trophy and a show car. Additional prizes will also be given to the contest winner. Other fans who correctly guess the race winner will be randomly selected and awarded prizes, and the driver earning the most fan votes will have $33,000 donated to his or her charity of choice.

To help spread the word, a truck wrapped in #WhosGonnaWin livery will be stopping at various locations around Indianapolis-including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, downtown Indianapolis and surrounding areas-starting Friday morning and running through noon on Sunday. The truck will promote the campaign, encourage race fans to vote through social media and project a digital leaderboard. Fans who vote at the truck will also have a chance to win tickets to Sunday’s Indy 500.

Voting for #WhosGonnaWin begins Friday, May 23 and ends when the command to start engines is given on Sunday, May 25.

A full list of rules and regulations are available at www.WhosGonnaWin.com.

Now, it’s time for me to get ready for the Hard Luck Lloyd book release cocktail reception at the IMS Museum and show some support for its author, MFW contributor John Lingle. Paul’s joining me there, and then we’re both going to run up to the Carb Night Burger Bash at 96th Street Steakburger right afterward. Hope we see lots of you there. I’ll update you on both of those events tomorrow morning.

For now, that’s all from Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Please bookmark us and keep checking in as we’ll be posting updates to this live blog all weekend long!

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4:52 PM ET (Steph) – Apparently I’m all turned around today. Someone told me earlier that today’s concerts would be outside the Pagoda, but they’re definitely in the cordoned off area with the stage in it inside turn 4 (where I suspected they would be when I drove past it this morning). Apologies if my misinformation created issues for anyone.

I also clearly managed to miss the first Speed Energy Formula Off-road race, which was at 3:10 PM today. There’s another one starting shortly, and you can watch a live stream here.

Fans are being given several opportunities this weekend to say thank you to Jim Nabors as he prepares for his final rendition of Back Home Again in Indiana this Sunday. From IMS:

During “Legends Day Honoring Mario Andretti Presented by Firestone” on Saturday, May 24, Nabors will appear trackside at IMS during the Public Drivers Meeting at 10:30 a.m., and will later serve as an Honorary Grand Marshal during the IPL 500 Festival Parade beginning at noon in downtown Indianapolis.

Prior to the start of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25, Nabors will appear on the celebrity red carpet prior to being driven for a parade lap around the famous IMS 2.5-mile oval. At 12:09 p.m., Nabors will sing “(Back Home Again in) Indiana” for the final time at IMS in front of his many fans and a worldwide television audience.

Nabors’ closing appearance of the weekend will take place on Monday, May 26 when he attends the Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration at IMS.

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NEXT PAGE: More coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway and race weekend for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500

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