Indiana native Adam Driver named honorary starter for 107th Indy 500

Adam Driver Indy starter
Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Acclaimed actor Adam Driver will return to his native Indiana to wave the green flag for the 107th Indy 500 as the honorary starter of the May 28 race.

“Adam is going to experience one of the most exhilarating, powerful and exciting moments in all of sports as he stands atop the flag stand and waves the green flag to officially start the world’s greatest race,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles said in a release.

“Indy 500 Race Day is full of meaning for our drivers, our fans across the globe and most especially our active-duty military members and veterans. Adam is not only a star recognized across the world but also a former U.S. Marine who will be a very fitting addition to ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’”

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STARTING LINEUPClick here for the 11 rows of three cars in the 107th Indy 500

Driver is perhaps best known for playing Kylo Ren in the last three “Star Wars” movies. He has been nominated for two Academy Awards, four Emmy Awards and a Tony Award.

Among his many credits: Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” and “White Noise,” Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci” and “The Last Duel,” Leos Carax’s “Annette,” Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky” (which took place at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway), Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” and the HBO series “Girls.”

He also has starred in numerous roles on and off-Broadway, including John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger” and Lanford Wilson’s “Burn This.”

The Julliard graduate and Marine attended the University of Indianapolis for a year. He co-founded Arts in the Armed Forces, a non-profit organization that staged theatrical and musical performances for members of the military.

Driver joins a long list of entertainers and actors who have served as Indy 500 honorary starters. Last year, Miles Teller of “Top Gun: Maverick” waved the green flag for The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Milo Ventimiglia, Matt Damon and Christian Bale have waved the green in recent years.

TV coverage of the 107th Indy 500 will begin Sunday, May 28 at 9 a.m. ET exclusively on Peacock. At 11 a.m., NBC and Peacock will broadcast prerace through postrace interviews.

Two late red flags in Indy 500; tire flies over Turn 2 catchfence in crash

Indy 500 tire
NBC Sports

INDIANAPOLIS – The 107th Indy 500 was stopped twice in the final 20 laps Sunday, including a red flag with 14 laps remaining after a terrifying crash that sent a tire over Turn 2 catchfence.

The tire struck a white car that was immediately surrounded by Indianapolis Motor Speedway security staff.

NBC Sports announcer Leigh Diffey said there were no reported injuries in the incident, which started when Felix Rosenqvist lost control entering Turn 1, hit the outside wall  and then skidded down the track in front of Kyle Kirkwood.

The left-rear tire of Kirkwood’s No. 27 Dallara-Honda sailed over the Turn 2 catchfence after the collision. Kirkwood’s car also turned upside down and slid down the asphalt for about a hundred feet.

The car was turned over by the AMR Safety Crew, which then extricated Kirkwood from the car. The Andretti Autosport driver enthusiastically waved and clapped to the crowd while sitting up on a stretcher that was wheeled to an ambulance.

Kirkwood later told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch that he was fine while standing for an interview outside the care center.

“Everything happened so quick,” Kirkwood said. “All I’ve heard is I was up in the fence, which is never a good thing in IndyCar. Thank God these cars are safe. It could have been a lot worse. I was seeing sparks flying everywhere. That was the scary part because you’re upside down and kind of stuck at that point.

“We felt like we were going to win it. I’m glad I’m OK. I’m glad the car was super fast. But I’m disappointed in that finish, no doubt.”

After a 13-minute flag, the race was restarted on Lap 187 of 200.

“I got passed and got on the wrong side of the wake,” Rosenqvist said. “I almost got it but the rear came out right before the exit of the corner, hit the wall, and I tried to stay up there. Eventually, something broke in the rear. I came back on track and unfortunately Kyle hit me. It was really unfortunate for him as well.”

The race was restarted on Lap 194, but the a crash for Pato O’Ward brought out another red flag with six laps remaining.