Archive for July 25, 2014

Chris Jones IMS 1

Indianapolis Motor Speedway introduced its third-generation scoring pylon to the media on Tuesday, July 22, on the main straightaway of the iconic 2.5-mile oval.

Located just south of the entrance to Gasoline Alley, the newest pylon features full LED panels on all four sides providing improved messaging capabilities to fans that include animation and video.

Made by Panasonic, the pylon has 1,320 panels on each side and 5,280 combined on all four sides. It stands 92 feet, 2 inches tall, replacing the second-generation pylon that stood 90 feet, 4 inches and was removed on June 30, 2014, after 20 years of service.

The original IMS scoring pylon was built in the spring of 1959, then a one-of-a-kind model which featured a lap counter, average speed indicator and positions for 33 cars.

Among the many tricks on the full-LED-paneled pylon is the ability to completely flash with green lights. Or yellow. Or with an American flag look for pre-race, then, in a blink, the 92-foot, 4-inch pylon can look just like the one that was removed last month.

Chris Jones IMS 3“We wanted to generate more information, to give more information to the fans in their seats,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles. “That old pylon was iconic, so we wanted to make sure the size was similar – we’re about two feet taller and three inches wider (with the new pylon) – but we wanted the ability to light it like everybody’s used to, especially for the Indianapolis 500.”

For the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by, the pylon can display the top 10 on the track while also circulating through spots 11 through 43. It can also provide enhanced stats information like lap times, miles per hour and time behind the leader.

Needless to say, that’s a far cry from the pylon erected in 1994 that stood sentry over the first 20 Brickyard 400s, two decades of Indianapolis 500s and other events. That pylon, powered by 6,496 30-watt light bulbs, could only display basic race scoring with a space at the top for race logos.

The new pylon can fully light up with “Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” race logos or other digital artwork. The possibilities are considerable.

“I think the fans, even fans that are a little concerned about it, are going to find that we’ve done a great job of paying real close attention to our tradition but also giving them something that makes their experience here at the Speedway better,” Boles said.

Looking at the new Panasonic-built model, it’s hard to fathom the first IMS pylon that went up in 1959 and was manually operated. More than a half-century later, the pylon now has animation and video capabilities. 

And the enhancements at IMS won’t stop there. Boles added that in the coming year, video boards around the track will be added that have the same digital capabilities.


Photos, Data and Graphics courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Photos by Chris Jones – Indianapolis Motor Speedway


TUDOR Championship Set To Tackle The Iconic Brickyard

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the next stop for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship – and yet another iconic North American motorsports venue on the inaugural 2014 schedule.

All four TUDOR Championship classes will compete in the Brickyard Grand Prix, a two-hour, 45-minute race on Friday at 5:45 p.m. ET.

While the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series competed in the Brickyard Grand Prix the past two years, the unification of North American sports car racing now extends the opportunity to race at Indy to teams and drivers that formerly competed in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, including competitors formerly in the P2, GT, Prototype Challenge (PC) and GTC classes.

The race will be held on the repaved and revised 14-turn, 2.435-mile circuit, leveling the playing field for competitors who have never raced at the Speedway. In the past, the Rolex Series used a 2.534-mile layout.


Eight Indy 500 Veterans To Challenge In Brickyard Grand Prix

Friday’s Brickyard Grand Prix will return a number of familiar drivers from IndyCar, Formula One and NASCAR to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Eight veterans of the Indianapolis 500 – including four drivers from the 2014 event –will be joined by Giancarlo Fisichella – an eight-time U.S. Grand Prix competitor – and Scott Pruett and Andy Lally, who have raced in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400.

Prototype Challenge (PC) competitors Jack Hawksworth and Martin Plowman, along with GT Daytona (GTD) drivers Townsend Bell and James Davison, all were in the field for the 2014 Memorial Day Weekend classic.

Bell was running in his eighth Indy 500, and ran competitively until a late-race incident led to a 25th-place finish. Davison led the TUDOR Championship group with a 16th-place finish, with Hawksworth finishing 20th and Plowman 23rd.

Prototype driver Scott Sharp raced in 14 Indy 500s, winning the pole in 2001 and scoring five top-10 finishes. He is joined in the lead class by fellow Indy 500 veteran Christian Fittipaldi, who was Rookie of the Year and second-place finisher in his lone 500 in 1995. PC driver Bruno Junqueira led four of his six 500s, winning the pole in 2002 while finishing fifth in both 2001 and 2004.

Fisichella finished in the top 10 in all but one of his Formula One races at Indy, including a third-place finish for Renault in 2006. He scored his second GTE Pro victory for Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

Pruett, who finished second in the Brickyard Grand Prix, in both 2012 and 2013, competed in four Indy 500s in addition to racing twice in the Brickyard 400.

Lally competed in the 2011 Brickyard Grand Prix – going on to win NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year honors. He won the GT class in the 2012 Brickyard Grand Prix.


The Race: Brickyard Grand Prix

The Place: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Date: Friday, July 25

The Track: 2.435-mile speedway road course

The Race Length: Two hours, 45 minutes

Race (FOX Sports 1) –  Friday: 5:30 p.m. (ET) – LIVE


The Race: Brickyard Sports Car Challenge — The Place: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Date: Friday, July 25

The Track: 2.435-mile speedway road course — The Race Length: Two hours, 45 minutes


Infield parking available for Sprint Cup race Sunday by advance permit purchase only

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, July 24, 2014 – Race fans looking for the most efficient ways to avoid heavy traffic en route to the 2014 Kroger Super Weekend and the 21st running of the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by on Sunday, July 27, are encouraged to follow the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s KNOW YOUR ZONE driving routes and parking program.

Fans should plan their routes ahead of time for an easier, more efficient drive to the track. In its third year, the KNOW YOUR ZONE program is designed to help Speedway guests identify the best driving routes to parking lots located near their respective seating locations.

With the track opening at 6 a.m. on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Day on Sunday and the race beginning at 1 p.m., officials suggest fans arrive in Marion County no later than 8 a.m. to ensure arriving to IMS in time to experience all the traditional pre-race activities, the Brickfest Music Festival featuring great live country music headlined by Brantley Gilbert and the start of the race.

“All Roads Lead to Indy” driving routes have been created by the Indiana State Police and match KNOW YOUR ZONE colors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

•Orange: The southern end of IMS.
•Red: The northern end of IMS.
•Green : Between the Orange (southern) and Red (northern) zones.

For more information about the KNOW YOUR ZONE program, including details about special ticket and parking packages, visit


All infield parking permits for fans for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, July 27, must be purchased in advance, with entry by pre-paid permit only. Holders of those permits are recommended to enter through Gate 2 (Tunnel 2) off 16th Street. As a reminder, motorists traveling east on 16th Street will not be allowed to turn left into Gate 2. All pre-paid permits should be clearly displayed at all times to expedite traffic.

Turn 3 reserved infield parking passes are on sale for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Sunday, and are ideal for all fans looking to park inside the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and enjoy tailgating. Front-row parking spaces are available for $75 each, with additional general parking spaces available for $25 each. All passes must be pre-purchased prior to Race Day at the main IMS Ticket Office in the IMS Administration Building.

A limited number of reserved parking spaces for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Sunday in the Lot 7 (North 40) parking lot are available for $25 each and can be purchased in person at the IMS Ticket Office, by calling (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m., or by visiting Limited free parking on Race Day is also available in Lot 7 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Free parking will be available outside the oval for fans attending all IMS events in 2014, with access to lots from both eastbound and westbound 30th Street.

Vehicles traveling west on 30th Street from Lafayette Road will be routed into Gate 10 until the area is full, then westbound traffic will be diverted to Lot 1C (Coke Lot), west of Georgetown Road. Vehicles traveling east on 30th Street from Moller Road will be routed into Lot 1C.

Recreational vehicles and buses, with the exception of those with proper placards or credentials, will not be allowed inside IMS property. Sufficient parking is available for oversize vehicles in Lot 1C. For information on general parking restrictions for the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard, visit: Town of Speedway Parking Restrictions.

Follow these recommended routes for limited free parking via 30th Street (Lot 1C and Gate 10) ….

From I-465 : Use Exit 17 (38th Street) and proceed east (turn right form northbound, turn left from southbound) on 38th Street, turn south (right) on Moller Road, turn east (left) on 30th Street, the Lot entrances are on the right.

From Southbound I-65: Use Exit 119 (38th Street) and proceed to the Kessler Boulevard North Drive exit, turn south (right) on Kessler Boulevard North Drive, turn west (right) onto 30th Street, Gate 10 or Lot 1C will be on the left.

From Northbound I-65: Use Exit 116 (29th/30th Street) and proceed straight past 29th Street, turn west (left) on 30th Street, Gate 10 or Lot 1C is on the left.

From I-70 West of Indianapolis (Eastbound): Use Exit 69 (I-465 North/I-74 West) and follow I-465 directions seen above.

From I-70 East of Indianapolis (Westbound): Use Exit 83B (I-65 North toward Chicago), Merge onto I-65 North, use Exit 116 (30th Street), continue straight, turn west (left) on 30th Street, continue west on 30th Street, the entrance is on the left.

In an effort to increase the safety and security of race patrons, Georgetown Road will be closed between 16th Street on the south and 25th Street on the north beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Brickyard 400 race morning to all vehicular traffic.  After Georgetown Road is closed, no vehicular traffic, including placarded traffic, will be allowed to access the roadway.  Those race patrons with placards who are accustom to entering IMS Gate 7 will have to enter through Gate 2 (W. 16th Street) or Gate 10 (30th Street).  Local residents who reside on this stretch of Georgetown Road are encouraged to make provisions for this temporary traffic restriction as vehicles will not be permitted to access Georgetown Road from McCray Street, 24th Street, and all other access points in this area.

The second notable change involves the reopening of Georgetown Road after the race is complete. Georgetown Road will remain closed to vehicular traffic until the vast majority of race pedestrian foot traffic clears from the roadway (approximately 1 hour after the race).

An additional thoroughfare that will be closed during the running of the Brickyard 400 will be 16th Street between Olin Avenue on the east to Georgetown Road on the west from noon until the end of the race. In addition, 16th Street will not be accessible from Polco Street, which will be closed at 10th Street.

All traffic traveling east on Crawfordsville Road from the west will be turned around at Georgetown Road. Traffic traveling west on 16th Street from downtown will be diverted south on Olin Avenue.

Fans leaving IMS following all races during the Kroger Super Weekend should be aware that whatever direction they are sent, they will never be more than 1 to 4 miles away from a main interstate artery. Officers will direct traffic in the quickest, most efficient way and may suddenly change routes due to traffic congestion.

Drivers can learn the locations of work zones and highway restrictions by calling INDOT’s TrafficWise at 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or viewing an online map at ISP will offer updates on traffic and parking on Twitter and Facebook.

Fans also can learn more about Race Day traffic tips at

A series of eight videos showing fans the best routes to access various parking lots from all directions for the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard is available at Each video offers step-by-step instructions, featuring audio and Google Earth maps.

Fans also can avoid traffic and parking issues on NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Day on Sunday by using the shuttle bus service provided by the Free Enterprise System and Star of Americas’ Park-N-Ride Shuttle. Online advance registration for bus service from three downtown locations and the Indianapolis International Airport is available at:

All taxis will drop off customers at Main Street and Gilman Street just south of IMS. Following the race, all taxis will stage at Main and Gilman to pick up customers.

IMS will enforce its one cooler-per-person rule, and the size of each cooler can be no larger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches. Coolers may be hard-or soft-sided. Fans will be allowed to bring one cooler and one standard backpack or book bag per person.


2014 Kroger Super Weekend tickets: Ticket orders for the 2014 Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard can be made at and through 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.

General admission tickets will cost $10 for Thursday, July 24, $30 for Friday, July 25, $25 for Saturday, July 26 and $30 for Sunday, July 27. A four-day Kroger Super Weekend general admission ticket is $82, a great value for the ultimate race weekend. A three-day general admission ticket (Thursday-Saturday) is $62.

Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free any of the four days of the Super Weekend at the Brickyard when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.

Reserved Seats are also available on Saturday and Sunday. Prices start at $41 and include full general admission access.