Several times in its history, the Verizon IndyCar Series has hosted an event near the Fourth of July. Yet, only a few times has a race actually been held on that day.
The last time a race was held on July 4 was in 2010, with Will Power taking victory at Watkins Glen, the last time IndyCar visited the famed New York road course until its return last year.
Only six years prior, Buddy Rice accomplished a similar feat in 2004, winning at Kansas Speedway on July 4.
However, those have been the only two races held on July 4 in the 21st century. Previously, the last time an IndyCar event took place on July 4 was in 1982, with Bobby Rahal winning at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport.
Of note: twice since 2000 has a race been held on July 3, with Sebastien Bourdais winning at Cleveland in 2004 (run under the Champ Car World Series banner) and Tony Kanaan winning at Kansas in 2005.
Similarly, two races have been held on July 5 since 2000. The aforementioned Bourdais won at Cleveland on that date in 2003 (then under CART sanctioning), and in 2009, the late Justin Wilson gave Dale Coyne Racing its maiden IndyCar win at Watkins Glen.
The most recent event the Verizon IndyCar Series has held on the weekend of July 4 came in 2014, when Juan Pablo Montoya scored a victory at Pocono Raceway on July 6.
The Circuit of The Americas paddock ahead of the United States Grand Prix may have been busy with teams and drivers preparing for lights out, but much of the attention lay with a number of headline guests including former presidents and Olympic champions.
As part of its plans to up the excitement levels ahead of Sunday’s grand prix and mirror other sporting events, F1’s new owner, Liberty Media, announced plans a couple of weeks ago to link up with iconic boxing announcer Michael Buffer and eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt for the pre-race festivities.
Ahead of today’s race in Austin, Buffer will introduce the drivers in a number of groups before offering the call for drivers to start their engines, similar to the pre-race procedure for the Indianapolis 500.
Honorary race starter Bolt, who competed in his last athletic world championship event in London earlier this year, will appear on the start line to complete his signature victory pose before waving the green flags to launch the formation lap.
Liberty issued a list of celebrities and other public figures who are confirmed to be attending today’s race, including Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden and actor Owen Wilson among others.