Almost 2,000 fans gathered Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a pizza party celebrating 101 Days until the 101st Indianapolis 500.
The day began with an unveiling of the ticket for 2017 race, featuring defending winner Alexander Rossi. The ticket features a red, white, and blue logo for the 2017 event at the top left while Rossi is featured in the center, adorning the winner’s wreath and receiving a milk bath at the hands of Bryan Herta amidst celebrations with Michael Andretti and other Andretti-Herta Autosport team members.
“This year’s ticket features a spectacular design, and it will be a great keepsake for fans for years to come,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles. “We’re grateful to our friends at Cummins, who share our passion for racing and the Indy 500, for hosting us this morning and creating such a special memory for Alexander, as well as the many community partners and Verizon IndyCar Series fans in attendance.”
Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, and Josef Newgarden were among the drivers in attendance, signing autographs and greeting the fans in attendance. Among the activities that highlighted the evening was a simulator that allowed attendees to take virtual laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Last year’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 was a flying success, with the event completely selling out and featuring one of the most exciting 500-mile races ever held. Thirteen drivers swapped the lead 54 times, with Rossi running out of fuel as he approached the start/finish line to claim the victory.
Recapping the proper Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel rivalry (VIDEO)
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
Simulator ride tells what Fernando Alonso can expect in Indianapolis 500 (VIDEO)
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Legendary announcer Ken Squier gets you ready for Sunday’s big day of racing (VIDEO)