Indy 500 2019: Kelly Clarkson, Matt Damon, Christian Bale headline star-studded race festivities

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The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, airing live at 11 am ET on NBC during Memorial Day weekend, has its starting lineup grid set and plenty of stars are coming out to celebrate the annual IndyCar Series event. Here’s a look at the celebrities taking part in festivities for the 2019 Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Schedule of Events

Friday, May 24

Grammy Award-winning band Kool & the Gang and Foreigner, known for their 1984 hit single “I Want to Know What Love Is,” will headline the Miller Lite Carb Day Concert at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The bands will perform inside Turn 4 at the track during the annual show set on the Friday before the Indy 500.

Saturday, May 25

Grammy Award-winning country music group Zac Brown Band will headline the Firestone Legends Day Concert the day before the race. Carly Pearce and Clayton Anderson will also be performing at the event.

Sunday, May 26

To start the race day off, DJ/producers Skrillex, Alesso, Illenium and Chris Lake will perform at the Indy 500 Snake Pit at the Turn 3 infield.

Kelly Clarkson, a three-time Grammy Award winning artist, will return to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for a third time before the start of the race.

Academy Award-winning actors Matt Damon and Christian Bale will serve as honorary starters at this year’s Indy 500. Damon and Bale, stars of the upcoming James Mangold-directed film “Ford v. Ferrari,” will kick off the Indy 500 racing festivities by waving the green flag. In the movie, scheduled to be released November 15, Damon portrays Carroll Shelby while Bale plays Ken Miles as the two team up to take on Enzo Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.