Indy 500 Last Row Party rolls out new features

May 22, 2012
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The month of May in Speedway is all about tradition.

Whether we’re talking about Jim Nabors signing “Back Home Again in Indiana,” the 11 rows of three cars starting the race or the winner drinking milk in Victory Lane, the Indianapolis 500 is dripping with tradition.

Another tradition recognizes the drivers starting at the back of the race.

On Friday, the Indianapolis Press Club will host the 40th annual Last Row Party. The event takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Brickyard Crossing Pavilion and gives fans an unusual opportunity to engage with current and former drivers.

One of the Indianapolis 500’s best peripheral events, fans can eat, drink and laugh as drivers are roasted at the Brickyard Crossing, 4400 W. 16th Street, adjacent to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Turn 2.

This year, the event features drivers Bryan Clauson, of Noblesville; up-and-comer Simona de Silvstro; and popular former Formula One racer Jean Alesi. Also on hand will be  IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard and other open-wheel VIPs.

Even though this is a longstanding tradition, there are some new twists this year. For the first time, Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus will address the gathering and fielding questions from the audience.

Indianapolis 500 historian Donald Davidson will offer insights and ask trivia questions and TV commentator Bob Jenkins will be on hand to take part in the driver roast. The event will be emceed by WFBQ's Laura Steele.

Special guest this year will be Bob Harkey, a former driver who was roasted at the first Last Row Party, back in 1973. He started on the Indy 500’s last row in 1971, 1973 and 1974.

The event benefits the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation, which provides journalism scholarships for students at Indiana colleges and universities.

For more information, check out: www.lastrowparty2012.eventbrite.com.
 

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  • Not a sellout
    @ 2 hours and 4 minutes left, there's 82 single tickets available @ $50 each, plus 9 tables of 10 seats @ $450 each.
    The premium tables sold out.

    How does that compare with previous years?
  • Great Time
    About the same.
  • Traditions
    About the same means down, like the TV ratings.

    My favorite tradition that needs to be brought back is the 25/8 rule.
  • AWFUL
    A relative in town for the race and I decided to attend as we've heard so much about this event over the years. Laura Steele may be OK for interviewing partying fans on the plaza, but she had no business doing this. It was embarrassing. The people who stage this event really don't understand what it used to be...and still could be.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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