Archive for May 18, 2016

Ryan Hunter-Reay during the wednesday practice session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- Image by by Walter Kuhn

Ryan Hunter-Reay during the Wednesday practice session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — Image by by Walter Kuhn

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (Wednesday, May 18, 2016) – Ryan Hunter-Reay isn’t getting ahead of himself. The Andretti Autosport driver knows it’s only two days into practice for the epic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

Some competitors may not have shown all their cards yet, but sitting atop the speed chart today with a lap of 228.202 mph in the No. 28 DHL Honda has the 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion feeling optimistic. Especially after last year, when Hunter-Reay started 16th, ran mid-pack most of the day and finished the race in 15th position.

“Coming off the year we had here last year where I couldn’t get the car to do anything I needed it to, it’s nice to have the 28 DHL Honda up towards the front, especially here at Indy,” Hunter-Reay said. “This is what we wait for all year, to get back on track here, start working with the car, feel the energy of the biggest race in the world.”

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All 33 cars made it onto the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval today, making up for a complete rainout Tuesday by completing a total of 2,779 laps – an average of 84 per car. Hunter-Reay clocked his fast circuit early, on the 11th of 94 laps he turned. Much of the late afternoon saw cars running in large packs to get the feel of driving in traffic.

“We’re working through things, working through setup, some qualifying stuff, some race stuff, just getting in the mix, getting in traffic and it’s been a fun day, a challenging one at times,” said Hunter-Reay, the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion. “When that wind switches around, it certainly throws you for a loop. Compared to (Monday), it’s been a big change. But I was pretty happy with the car there at the end.”

Carlos Munoz during practice for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 -- Image by Walter Kuhn

Carlos Munoz during practice for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 — Image by Walter Kuhn

Carlos Munoz, Hunter-Reay’s teammate in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda, was second quick on the day at 228.066 mph. Andretti drivers also set the pace on Monday’s opening day of practice, led by Marco Andretti at 228.978 mph.

Will Power; third fastest today in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet (227.733 mph), didn’t give the lap much credence since like most of the fast ones turned, it came with an aerodynamic tow from cars in front.

“The tow is worth about 6 miles an hour, so it’s not really representative,” Power said. “It’s just a matter of finding good traffic and understanding your car and seeing what works and what doesn’t work. I think the cars are a little slower this year, for sure, and the Hondas look strong, very strong.”

Josef Newgarden at speed at the Brickyard - Image by Chris Owens.jpg

Josef Newgarden at speed at the Brickyard – Image by Chris Owens.jpg

Josef Newgarden; fourth in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing (226.998 mph) and Gabby Chaves fifth in the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda (226.889 mph). “We got 30 minutes of running Monday.  Today was our first full day, we got through a lot of changes and all our program, did some traffic running. I’m pretty pleased,” said Chaves, 2015 Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year who joined the Coyne team just prior to the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the IMS road course. “I haven’t had any uncomfortable situations out there today, so I’m honestly just very, very pleased with the way the day has been going.”

The lone incident of the day occurred when rookie Spencer Pigot lost control of his No. 16 RLL/Mi-Jack/Manitowac Honda and spun into the Turn 1 SAFER Barrier. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver was uninjured but his car sustained significant left-side damage.

“The car was feeling pretty good, I think we’d been making improvements,” Pigot said. “We’d just done our quickest lap I think the run before, so everything was feeling good. … After we looked at the data, we found that the right front tire went down followed immediately by the right rear, so I must have run over something that cut the tires and caused the spin. It’s obviously a big setback for me, for the team, obviously not what you want to happen on just the second day. We’ll just try to put everything back together and then pick up where we left off.”

Practice continues noon-6pm ET Thursday and Friday, ahead of qualifying this weekend to set the 33-car field for the historic 100th running. Practice sessions will be streamed live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com

Qualifying airs Saturday on ESPN3 (11am-3pm ET) & ABC (4-6pm ET) & Sunday on ESPN3 (2-4pm ET) & ABC (4-6 pm ET). Coverage of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 begins at 11am ET May 29 on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network.

 Tickets on Sale for IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen

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Tickets are now available for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to Watkins Glen International. The IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen will take place Sept. 1-4 on the iconic 3.4-mile permanent road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y. — To order tickets, call (866) 461-7223 or click here.

50th anniversary shield for website1INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Coinciding with this years 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, Pennzoil has celebrated Team Penske’s 50th anniversary of racing history with the opening of the “Team Penske 50th Anniversary Exhibit” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. It is the largest single team exhibit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. The museum display opened on February 19th, marking the 100-day countdown to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, taking place Sunday, May 29th.

“We are thrilled to be part of such a historic milestone for Roger Penske and all of Team Penske. It’s humbling for Pennzoil to witness winning traditions half a century in the making,” said Rusty Barron, Vice President of Marketing, Shell Lubricants Americas.

The Team Penske Exhibit will put a spotlight on 50 years of racing history, tradition and heritage with an amazing 22-car collection at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. The exhibit will feature an extensive lineup of Indy cars, stock cars, Formula 1 and sports cars accompanied by an array of memorabilia and trophies. The collection of Indianapolis 500 winning cars starts with Mark Donohue’s 1972 car along with winning cars from legends such as Rick Mears, Bobby Unser, Danny Sullivan, Al Unser, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr., Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran and Sam Hornish Jr.

Also on display for the first time under one roof will be both the 2015 Indianapolis 500 and the 2015 Daytona 500 winning cars of Pennzoil drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Joey Logano. The Team Penske Exhibit will run from Feb. 19 to Nov. 30, 2016, giving all racing fans the opportunity to witness the winning collection in all of its glory for most of 2016.

Image by Eric Schwarzkopf

Image by Eric Schwarzkopf

“It’s truly an honor for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum and Pennzoil to showcase all of the hard work, dedication and winning momentum from everyone at Team Penske from over the past 50 years,” said Roger Penske. “The museum is a true testament to the heritage this team embodies and we’re most excited to be able to share this with our racing fans.”

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves stands alongside four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears -- Image by Joe Skibinski

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves stands alongside four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears — Image by Joe Skibinski

To top off the celebration, former Team Penske driver Rick Mears was on hand to help Helio Castroneves unveil his paint scheme for the 100th running of the Indy 500. The No. 3 Chevrolet will be sporting the iconic Pennzoil Yellow Submarine paint scheme, the very scheme that Rick Mears so memorably drove to victory at the Indy 500 in 1984 and again in 1988.

“We’re confident that the Team Penske winning tradition will continue in 2016 and we’re hoping to be celebrating another victory from the Pennzoil Yellow Submarine 100 days from now,” added Barron.

The technical partnership with Team Penske provides Pennzoil with the ability to test existing and new motor oil technology developed by the industry leading Shell and Pennzoil scientists to gain insights from the track that translate directly into the formulation of its consumer motor oils.

For more details on Pennzoil and Team Penske relationship, visit www.Pennzoil.com. To stay up-to-date on the latest activities, ‘Like’ the official Pennzoil Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/Pennzoil) and followus on Twitter (www.twitter.com/Pennzoil) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/Pennzoil).

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – The most iconic celebration in sports will add a new chapter to its legacy this year, as 100,000 fans will have the chance to share the world’s largest milk toast with the winner of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is teaming up with the American Dairy Association (ADA) and Prairie Farms to add this spectacular moment to Race Day.

Drinking the milk in Victory Circle is one of those special traditions that sets us apart from other events,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. “This year, as we mark the 100th Running of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ we felt it was important to bring as many fans as possible into the mix. This 100,000-strong milk toast will be an epic part of an unforgettable Race Day.”

On Race Day, 100,000 16 oz. pints of Prairie Farms milk will be distributed by ADA volunteers to spectators sitting in the grandstand sections along the front stretch. The milk bottles will be available throughout the race at several strategic locations which will be announced before the event.

“Being a part of the victory celebration and that famous drink of milk, representing Indiana dairy farmers who produce the milk is a special thrill, honor and tradition of American Dairy Association Indiana,” said Deb Osza, American Dairy Association Indiana. “We are excited to continue our partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 Mile race in 2016 at the 100th Running of the Indy 500. We’ll be there helping distribute 100,000 milks. We hope to see you on Race Day!”

“Prairie Farms is looking forward to providing milk for the World’s Largest Milk Toast and we’re proud to be part of the most iconic celebration in sports,” Prairie Farms CEO Ed Mullins said. “We strongly believe in giving back to the communities we serve. Not only is Prairie Farms providing 100,000 commemorative bottles of milk for the celebration, our farm families and employees will be there to engage with race fans throughout the day.”

The pints of milk will be specially branded for the 100th Running and will be available at retailers leading up to the race. Fans are encouraged to buy ahead of time to ensure they can celebrate with the winner. A 50-cents-off coupon is included in the Indy 500 ticket mailing. Fans watching from home are encouraged to purchase and participate as well.

IMS video boards and PA equipment will be used to help notify attendees of the time to raise their bottle of milk alongside the 100th Running champion. Get ready for a photo moment not to be missed!

The tradition of drinking milk following an Indy 500 victory began in 1936 with three-time champion Louis Meyer. Meyer regularly drank buttermilk to refresh himself on a hot day and happened to drink some in Victory Lane as a matter of habit after winning the 1936 race. An executive with what was then the Milk Foundation was so elated when he saw the moment captured in a photograph in the sports section of his newspaper the following morning that he vowed to make sure it would be repeated in coming years.

Tickets are now on sale 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, Lilly Diabetes 250, the Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard and the Red Bull Air Race. Fans have three quick, convenient methods to buy tickets:

Online: Visit www.ims.com/tickets – Tickets are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Phone: Call 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

In Person: Visit the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building east of the 16th Street roundabout and outside Turn 1 of the oval between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at 866-221-8775 for more information.

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Wednesday, May 18, 2016 — Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans are greatly encouraged to arrive earlier than in previous years for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. A whole morning of thrills and entertainment is planned for ticket holders looking to beat traffic and avoid longer lines by coming early.

“The 100th Running of the Indy 500 only happens once, and fans won’t want to miss a moment of this epic day,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles. “A full morning of fun, including SportsCenter broadcasting live from Pagoda Plaza and the Borg-Warner Trophy’s epic March to the Yard of Bricks, is planned for spectators of all ages. With higher attendance than in recent years, it’s a smart idea to leave home in the early morning hours and set yourself up for a day of shorter lines, less waiting and great experiences.”

1951 Chevrolet panel truck, formerly owned by Lawrence “Larry” Bisceglia, at IMS to discuss getting here early at IMS on Indy 500 Race Day -- Photo by Chris Owens

Always first in line, Larry Bisceglia’s 1951 Chevrolet Panel Truck — Image by Chris Owens

Gates at Indianapolis Motor Speedway open 6am following traditional cannon blast.

Fans are encouraged to arrive by 8am or at least two hours earlier than their normal arrival time.

“This Race Day, we’re celebrating with our largest crowd in decades,” said Hulman Motorsports Senior Vice President of Events Allison Melangton. “To avoid unnecessary delays and to have the best experience possible, plan to get here in the early morning hours or at least two hours earlier than usual.”

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Many enjoyable opportunities are available to fans right as gates open or shortly after, including:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Open at 6am

The IMS Museum, featuring a special “50 Years of Team Penske in Racing” exhibit, will open to visitors at 6am. Learn more about the museums attractions by Clicking Here:

Enhanced Fan Midway Open at 6am

This year’s fan Midway features several exciting attractions, including the IMS Kids Zone and interactive activations from PlayStation, Mattel, New Era, Coca-Cola and more. The action-packed Chevy Stage is also in the lot adjacent to the Midway.

Shopping and Food

100th Running attire will go fast, so don’t miss out! Grab breakfast and then shop for family and friends while supplies last. Retail and food options are available at 6am.

100,000 Milk Bottles:

Prairie Farms and the Indiana chapter of the American Dairy Association will distribute 100,000 milk bottles to fans on Race Day for an epic Milk Toast with the winner of the 100th Running. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of history! Be first in line to grab a milk bottle.

SportsCenter from Pagoda Plaza

ESPN’s SportsCenter will broadcast four live episodes from IMS this Month of May, with two being taped on Race Morning. The first episode tapes from 8 – 9 a.m. and you’ll want to be in the Plaza early for a prime spot, behind the set and on-camera! If you want your friends and family to see you on national TV, this is the place to be.

BorgWarner Trophy March to the Yard of Bricks at 8am

The Borg-Warner Trophy will begin an epic March to the Yard of Bricks at 8 a.m. from the basement doors of the IMS Museum. Line up outside the museum for a chance to see the Trophy – escorted by The Gordon Pipers – begin its journey.

Rolling Stage

This year, for the first time in recent memory, a rolling stage with musical entertainment will begin circling the track at 10 a.m. New York a cappella group Naturally 7 will play in Turns 1, 2 and 4.

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Epic PreRace, be in your seat for it! …

This year’s pre-race will feature two fantastic flyovers, military tributes, “Back Home Again in Indiana” sung by Josh Kaufman and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, the national Anthem from Darius Rucker and Mario Andretti and Keith Urban teaming up for the “Fastest Seat in Sports” ride. Don’t be waiting in line when pre-race starts.

Tickets are now on sale for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, Lilly Diabetes 250, the Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard and the Red Bull Air Race. Fans have three quick, convenient methods to buy tickets:

Online: Visit www.ims.com/tickets – Tickets are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Phone: Call 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

In Person: Visit the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building east of the 16th Street roundabout and outside Turn 1 of the oval between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at 866-221-8775 for more information.

Information on parking and camping at IMS events is available at www.ims.com/tickets

This Day Last Year …

Posted: May 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

jhLast year, to the day, James Hinchcliffe crashed during practice for the 2015 Indianapolis 500 ,

A part failure threw Hinch’s car into the outside wall at 126G’s, the largest impact recorded in IndyCar history.

James has returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, more determined than ever to beat ‘the other guy.’

Hinch is, in fact, Limitless …

Pat McAfee announces his sponsorship of Conor Daly's No. 18 ShirtsForAmerica.com Honda with for the 100th Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil -- Image by Jim Haines

Pat McAfee announces his sponsorship of Conor Daly’s No. 18 ShirtsForAmerica.com Honda with for the 100th Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil — Image by Jim Haines

Indianapolis, IN (May 18, 2016) – Conor Daly and Dale Coyne Racing are teaming up with Indianapolis Colts star player Pat McAfee for this year’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. McAfee’s company ShirtsForAmerica.com joining as primary sponsor on the American-themed #18 car driven by Daly.

McAfee’s recently launched ShirtsForAmerica.com company was born from two ideas. One, to help an Indiana driver at this year’s Indy 500 and the other, to help two military foundations.

For each t-shirt sold, a portion of the proceeds will go to Wish For Our Heroes, which was founded by American veterans to help struggling veterans with every day situations they face off the battlefield and to The Pat McAfee Foundation. Now in its fourth year, the Pat McAfee Foundation has given more than $150 000 in scholarships to children of military families.

“Conor and I have been friends for a while now and I couldn’t wait to hear his thoughts about the 100th running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing and how magical the Indy 500 is,” shared McAfee who is also a stand-up comedian. “Conor, being a kid from Indiana, started talking about how fantastic it is for Indiana that all of these awesome things are going to happen, how the entire world’s eyes turn to Indiana, and how every year we knock it out of the park.

41d080d2-05a1-4a73-a4cc-5a591834c02bWhile we chatted about how lucky we were to be Hoosiers, he told me that he didn’t have a primary sponsor yet for the race. I didn’t believe him at first but then I saw it as an opportunity not only to help an Indianapolis kid run in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, but also, as a chance to raise money for a couple of military foundations. So I created ShirtsForAmerica.com and sponsored his car. When we’re chugging milk in Victory Lane Memorial Day weekend, we’ll do it with some true fulfillment knowing that we’re also helping American heroes.

“Pat’s a tremendous American and to have this opportunity to work together is fantastic,” expressed Daly. “I’m proud to represent ShirtsForAmerica.com on track as we raise money to help American Veterans. A passionate American Hoosier myself, I can’t wait to pilot our red white and blue #18 machine in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. We are going to give it everything we’ve got this month and I can’t thank Pat enough for wanting to come onboard to make this happen.”  “We’re very excited to partner with Pat McAfee and ShirtsForAmerica.com in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500,” added Team Owner Dale Coyne. “The story behind Pat’s company is what being American is all about with helping and giving back to others. Promoting his ShirtsForAmerica.com brand at the biggest single-day sporting event in the world that also happens to take place on Memorial Day weekend is only fitting. We’re proud to see our #18 car sporting the American colors at this historic race.”

13267988_10209403936845999_4107007674809168822_nMcAfee spoke at length: “Today is a gigantic day in history. Jot this one down in the books. This morning started out normal, but when I go to sleep tonight, nothing will be the same. This morning when I woke up, I had a huge piece of apple pie. That’s what Dale Coyne and I do. Conor couldn’t do it, because he’s got practice, but I chugged a nice, tall Budweiser. Took a shower and brushed my teeth with freedom. What we are doing here today is to announce that good friend of mine Conor Daly, Dale Coyne and I have teamed up for the 100th Running of the Indy 500. Hootie (Darius Rucker) is going to sing the National Anthem. Celebrities will be flocking in from all over the world. In a suite somewhere, who’s going to be pulling hard for Conor Daly is myself, my team, and ShirtsForAmerica.com, which is a business that just started, literally, three days ago. This is an exciting time for Conor, myself and Dale seems really elated. I just gave him a check.  This is going to be a fun thing. On a serious note, Conor Daly and I have been friends for a while. We’ve had cocktails together. We’ve chit-chatted about life together. I’ve beaten him in Mario Kart. And I found that to be a pretty stupendous thing. We went go-kart racing, and I did not beat him. (More on next page).Then I came out to the track last week and watched an Indianapolis kid, and Indiana kid lead 14 laps in the Angie’s List Grand Prix, right here at the majestic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (More on next page). When I started chatting with him about who his primary sponsor was for the Indy 500, he told me he didn’t have one yet. Myself and my team saw this as an opportunity not only to get an Indianapolis kid in the 100th Indy 500 but a chance to raise some money for some military foundations as well. ShirtsForAmerica.com was created under the premise that we’re going to get this kid in the race to win. We’re going to celebrate in Victory Lane by chugging 10 bottles of milk and we’re going to raise money for military foundations by doing so. I’m so excited for today to happen and I can’t wait for the race to start.” (About the car’s livery): “I don’t know if you’ve seen the mockup of the car, but if you’re from Maine. If you’re from Florida or from Southern California or the northern tip of Washington and all the towns in between. If you’re a kid, or an adult or the elderly this is a majestic American vehicle that you’re going to be pulling for start to finish for all 500 miles. To be honest, Babe Ruth called his shot. Broadway Joe (Namath) called his shot. This is me, putting my money on the guy that I’m guaranteeing a win for. That may be a lot pressure for Conor, but I really don’t give a damn. I don’t have to drive a car. I’m excited. I think Conor is an incredible talent. Anyone who knows driving knows he’s an incredible talent. This is an incredible opportunity that could happen. And although I beat him in Mario Kart, he’s going to win the Indy 500 and you can quote it.” (About his appreciation for IMS and Indy car racing): “When you come to Indiana… I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Indy car is not large. As soon as you get to Indiana, you learn about the deep tradition of racing. My first year, I was in the Snake Pit. I didn’t see many cars, Dale. Dale, I had no idea you even existed, to be honest. As the years past, I continued to grow in my respect for racing. I got a chace to meet these guys. It was two years ago, I got to sit in Turn 1 and actually got a chance to watch the action and found out quickly why people love this sport. The people at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are nothing but class. A first-class organization and I’ve been nothing but lucky to be associated with these people.”

Conor Daly stated: “This is really cool for us. Our program is obviously for the full season, but we had a gap here at the 500 that we had to fill. It’s been really difficult to put the full program together. Pat came on board and this is a really cool idea. It’s a really cool thing that he’s created. I think to raise money for veterans and military families is what the whole race weekend – the Indianapolis 500 race weekend – is all about. I’m a proud American. Pat is a tremendous American and we’re going to have a great time representing America for this whole month. I can’t thank him enough for coming on board.”

Dale Coyne, owner of Coyne Racing added: “We’re very happy with the whole program. It’s kind of cause marketing and three of our four cars are doing that with the Komen car for breast cancer, the Boy Scouts car and this one for veterans. It’s a fantastic thing for us.”

The #18 car has shed its white, green and black livery for the red, white and blue. The American flag will be featured on the nose as well as on the shark fin, with the ShirtsForAmerica.com logo placed prominently on the side pods.

The all-American #18 ShirtsForAmerica.com machine will make its first public appearance on Thursday, May 19 during the Noon to 6pm practice session.

Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 takes place this weekend, May 21st and 22nd with the Greatest Spectacle in Racing going green on May 29th. The race will be broadcast live on ABC starting at 11am ET.

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