Post office issuing Indianapolis 500 anniversary stamp

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The Indianapolis 500's 100th anniversary is one of 25 subjects to be highlighted in the U.S. Postal Service's 2011 Commemorative Stamp Program, unveiled Tuesday.

Ray Harroun, winner of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911, is featured on the stamp, which says "Indianapolis 500" and "100 Years of Racing." The stamp's image was created by illustrator John Mattos.

“It’s a great honor for the Indianapolis 500 to be featured on a U.S. Postal Service stamp,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. President Jeff Belskus said in a prepared statement. “The stamp recognizes the 500 as a vital part of American culture and is a wonderful addition to our celebration of the 100th anniversary of the race in 2011.”

Indy500_stamp_15col This is the second time that the Marmon Wasp, piloted by Ray Harroun, has been featured on a U.S. stamp.

The postal service receives thousands of suggestions annually for postage stamps. The Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee recommends 20 to 25 subjects for final approval by the Postmaster General. According to the postal service, “stamp subjects must stand the test of time, reflect the cultural diversity of the U.S. and have broad national appeal.”

This is the second time the Marmon Wasp, piloted by Harroun, has been featured on a U.S. postage stamp. The car also was highlighted as a 17.5-cent stamp in a transportation series in 1987.

The 2011 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 29, at the Speedway.

The latest stamp will be a Forever Stamp, which is always equal in value to the current first-class stamp rate, regardless of future price changes.


  • Revisionist history
    Obviously the post office doesn't know that real racing didn't start in the US until Tony George created open wheel racing with his formation of the Indy racing League in 1996 which he lead until being fired by his Mother. Twice. Buddy Loozier, Buzz Calkins, Tyce Carlson or Shiggy Hattori would have been better choices to grace this historic stamp. It's a shame the Post Office doesn't recognize the significance of the Tony George era. They are most likely youthful CART apologists who haven't attended every 500 since 1959 like me. Even the C^RT years.
  • 75 mph was flying back then. They used to say man could not survive going faster than 100 mph. Do you ever figure Ray imagined his top speed would be normal cruising speed on the highways?

    Burl....well we all understand your need for attention. Tell us again about how your relative is writing a book about the demise of IMS yet no one in the press knows about it. I love that story.

  • what a joke
    Buddy Lazier needs to be on a stamp. He led the revolution of "SCAB" drivers during the lockout years. Now, that's a deserving winner in Indy 500 history.
  • Ray Harroun
    The stamp is great! Little did Ray Harroun know back then in one hundred years his accomplishment would be so recognized and so much history was to follow.
  • Oh Burl
    Not more gloom and doom about IMS being bulldozed?

    At any rate, when I was in my early teens, I used to walk to the local Post Office to mail my folks bills, I would see a flip chart of official first day stamp releases. You could actually send the postal service a SASE and a check and they would mail your return envelope back to you with the stamp and a special "first day" postmark and cancellation. I did a few back then but may have to do it again for this one! Nice.
  • nitpicking
    The stamp does have "100years of racing" in the very small margin. But I agree the 1911 - 2011 could have been more prominent

    Interesting how the art work gives illusion of speed whereas the Wasp averaged under 75mph! I doubt if it was ever 'airborne' on the track at that 'high' rate!

    It's a nice looking stamp and with all the other hype that will surely be around, I think the postal public will understand the stamp's commemoration.
  • Date Parameters Neeed
    The only problem with the stamp is the dates 1911-2011 should have been included to denote the lifespan of the great race. But since there is a fairly decent chance there will be a 2012 Indy 500 and possibly even a 2013 Indy 500 before the IMS is sold, bulldozed, and made ready for a substantial mixed-use development, the Post Office and/or designer could do nothing but make this quite smart stamp that will surely be a collector's item for the Gomertatti such as Donald Davidson, Robin Miller, Windyman, Defenseless, and the goobertatti at Trackforum.

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