One of the annual traditions for the previous year’s winner of the Indianapolis 500 is that his or her likeness and winning image will be revealed on the next year’s ticket.
That day has come today with Alexander Rossi’s shocked but amazed moment in victory lane as he captured the win in the No. 98 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda for Andretti-Herta Autosport in last year’s epic 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
“This year’s ticket features a spectacular design, and it will be a great keepsake for fans for years to come,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles said in a release. “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.”
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.