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MORRIS: Your guide to the 500’s 100th running

April 30, 2016

MorrisThe month of May is here. And we’re fueled up for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29 and all the festivities leading up to the big race. Bring it on. It’s going to be a very special May in Indianapolis.

To help kick off the celebration, you’ll find your copy of the “100th Running of the Indianapolis 500” commemorative magazine in this issue of IBJ. The publication was produced by a partnership of Indianapolis Monthly, IBJ, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Visit Indy. There’s a lot worth reading in this magazine, so I’ll try to recap the highlights for you.

The feature story—“Memory Lane”—is a must-read; it highlights interviews with some of the most famous names to ever race around the Brickyard. Names like Unser, Andretti, Foyt, Mears, Sneva, Kanaan, pioneering women like Guthrie and St. James, and many other famous drivers are featured.

Be sure to read IMS President Doug Boles’ perspectives of Project 100, the major capital improvement initiative that preceded this year’s race. The goal of Project 100 was to create fan-focused experiences and entertainment options that further establish IMS as an iconic sports and entertainment facility as well as “The Greatest Race Course in the World.” Boles explains how the upgrades unite the past with the future.

In “Fueling Innovation,” you’ll read about how the automobile industry made the Speedway the place for engineers to introduce new and far more advanced technology over the years.

You’ll find a story, “Then & Now,” that showcases just how much has changed since the first race in 1911, and a 500 trivia quiz to test your knowledge of Indy 500 traditions. Don’t miss the story on the history of the Borg-Warner Trophy. The $3.5 million artistic masterpiece that honors race winners has plenty of little-known quirks you might not be aware of.

What would an Indy 500 commemorative magazine be without a complete guide to festivities in the month of May? May 7 is the 40th running of the Mini-Marathon, one of the nation’s largest half-marathons. The glitzy “Rev” event is that evening. The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will be May 14. Indy 500 qualifying will take place on May 21-22, and the infamous Carb Day is May 27. When was the last time you saw a carburetor on an Indy car? Maybe 1963?

On May 28, fans of all ages will enjoy the 60th 500 Festival parade. That evening, true party-goers won’t want to miss the annual Snakepit Ball, one of the many events you can read about in the magazine.

And of course, on May 29, it’s time for the main event—the 100th running of the most famous race in the world—the Indianapolis 500. I am so fired up about this race and the entire month. The excitement reminds me of the “old days,” when half the city spent most of May at the track.

Thank you, Hulman George family, Hulman & Co. executives and staff, and Speedway executives and staff for all your contributions to this community year after year. The immense positive impact you all have had on this region is immeasurable. And congratulations on the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

All race fans are hoping for clear skies and a safe and exciting race to mark this milestone. And, as is the tradition every year at the Speedway, in honor of Memorial Day, let’s all be sure to remember our veterans and express our gratitude not only for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, but also for everyone who served in the past and those who are serving today.

Please enjoy reading the special commemorative Indy 500 magazine and have a great month of May.•

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Morris is publisher of IBJ. His column appears every other week. To comment on this column, send email to gmorris@ibj.com.

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