Motorsports Venues - Excitement Everywhere For Fans At 96th Indianapolis 500


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INDIANAPOLIS, April 24, 2012: The 96th Indianapolis 500 offers 12 days of exciting on-track action featuring the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, and two special days of fan-friendly activities during the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Opening Day is Saturday, May 12. Pole Day is Saturday, May 19, followed by Bump Day, Sunday, May 20. Miller Lite Carb Day is Friday, May 25, and the 96th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at noon (ET) Sunday, May 27.

Public gates for practice May 12-18 will open at 10 a.m., an hour later than recent years. Public gates on Race Day will open at 5:33 a.m. Sunday, May 27, paying tribute to the traditional 33 cars in the starting lineup.

Tickets for all days of activity are available at www.imstix.com or by calling (800) 822-INDY.

Fans can enjoy plenty of on-track action featuring the new 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series car and competition among engine manufacturers Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus on Opening Day. All of the top stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series will be on track, including three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, two-time "500" winner Dario Franchitti and IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Will Power.

The Celebration of Automobiles also will take place on Opening Day, Saturday, May 12 at IMS, with nearly 200 beautiful, rare vehicles competing for awards - including the Road & Track Trophy -- in the Vintage and Historic Car Show. An Emerging Tech Showcase has been integrated into the Celebration of Automobiles this year. A new addition is an Automobile Festival featuring hundreds of current and late model vehicles on display in manufacturer-and model-specific groups inside the infield of the IMS oval.

Drama and excitement will build during daily practice Sunday, May 13 through Thursday, May 17. Teams and drivers will aim for top speed on Fast Friday, May 18, the last day to hone setups before qualifications.

One of the most dramatic days in worldwide motorsports will take place Saturday, May 19 on Pole Day. The first 24 spots in the starting field will be determined in the exciting two-session format, with nine drivers making a run for the pole in the thrilling Fast Nine Shootout from 4:30-6 p.m.

Qualifications will conclude Sunday, May 20 with the pressure and drama of Bump Day, as drivers will try to find the speed to earn one of the final nine spots in the starting field for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Activity resumes Wednesday, May 23 with 500 Festival Community Day, featuring an autograph session with the Indianapolis 500 starting field and other fan-friendly activities.

Cars are back on track Thursday, May 24 for practice and qualifying for the Firestone Freedom 100, the marquee event for Firestone Indy Lights.

A fantastic mix of on-track action and off-track fun awaits fans on Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, May 25. The final Indianapolis 500 practice, Firestone Freedom 100 race and Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge will provide competitive thrills, while legendary rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd will close the day by headlining the Miller Lite Carb Day concert.

Legends Day Honoring Roger Penske Presented by Shell V-Power on Saturday, May 26 will honor Indianapolis 500 legends while building anticipation for Race Day.

Vintage cars will turn laps on the IMS oval and the Indianapolis 500 starting field will sign autographs before the Public Drivers' Meeting. Legendary Indianapolis 500 team owner Roger Penske will participate in a question-and-answer session with fans shortly before numerous Indianapolis 500 veterans will sign autographs.

The largest Indianapolis 500 Memorabilia Show in the world also will take place all day on Legends Day Honoring Roger Penske Presented by Shell V-Power.

Tradition and pageantry again will take center stage during pre-race ceremonies on Race Day, Sunday, May 27, before the field of 33 starters gets the green flag at noon.

One of the best parties of the year also will take place on Race Day in the Snake Pit, located inside Turn 3 in the massive IMS infield. Music starts at 8 a.m., with headlining performances by world-renowned electro DJ and producer Benny Benassi and Chicago-based electro group Krewella.

The Snake Pit will be open on Race Day from 7 a.m. until the checkered flag ending the race. Any fan with a Race Day ticket and free Snake Pit wristband will be admitted.

96th INDIANAPOLIS 500 SCHEDULE

(All times local, subject to change)

Thursday, May 10 ROOKIE ORIENTATION PROGRAM - Free (Only public access is South Terrace grandstands adjacent to Gate 2 entrance)

8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Practice

Friday, May 11 FIRESTONE FREEDOM 100 TESTING - Free (Only public access is South Terrace grandstands adjacent to Gate 2 entrance)

10 a.m.-3 p.m., Practice

Saturday, May 12 OPENING DAY/CELEBRATION OF AUTOMOBILES - $10 admission; 12 and under free

10 a.m.-6 p.m., Public Gates Open

10 a.m.-4 p.m., Celebration of Automobiles (Vintage and Historic Car Show, Emerging Tech Showcase, Automobile Festival)

10:30-10:50 a.m., Q&A Session about 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series car, Coca-Cola Stage

Noon-6 p.m., Practice

12:15 p.m., Celebration of Automobiles Awards, Coca-Cola Stage

6 p.m., Celebration of Automobiles Dinner

Sunday, May 13 PRACTICE - $10 admission; 12 and under free

10 a.m.-6 p.m., Public Gates Open

10:30-11 a.m., Q&A with Beaux Barfield, Coca-Cola Stage

Noon-6 p.m., Practice

Monday, May 14- PRACTICE - $10 admission; 12 and under free

Thursday, May 17 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Public Gates Open

Noon-6 p.m., Practice

Friday, May 18 FAST FRIDAY - $10 admission, 12 and under free

10 a.m.-6 p.m., Public Gates Open

11-11:30 a.m., Q&A with Owner/Driver/Sponsor Panel, Coca-Cola Stage

Noon-6 p.m., Practice

6:15 p.m., Pole Day Qualifications Draw, Coca-Cola Stage

Saturday, May 19 POLE DAY - $15 admission, 12 and under free

6:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Public Gates Open

8-10 a.m., Practice

10-10:30 a.m., Q&A with Past Pole Winners, Coca-Cola Stage

10:15 a.m., American Dairy Association Pin Distribution, Pagoda Plaza

11 a.m.-4 p.m., First Qualifying Segment

4 p.m., Ceremonial Lap Honoring 50th Anniversary of Parnelli Jones' 150-mph Lap

4:30-6 p.m., Fast Nine Pole Qualifying

6 p.m., Pole Award Presentation, Yard of Bricks

6:15 p.m., Live Music by Here Come The Mummies, Coca-Cola Stage

Sunday, May 20 BUMP DAY/IMS ARMED FORCES DAY - $15 admission, 12 and under free

7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Public Gates Open

7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Military Vehicle Display, Pagoda Plaza, MotoGP Course Turns 7 and 9

10-11 a.m., Practice

11:15-11:40 a.m., Armed Forces Enlistment Ceremony, Yard of Bricks

11:15-11:45 a.m., Q&A with Bump Day Drivers, Coca-Cola Stage

Noon-6 p.m., Qualifying

Monday, May 21- NO TRACK ACTIVITY

Tuesday, May 22

Wednesday, May 23 AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE 500 FESTIVAL COMMUNITY DAY (No track activity) - $8 advance/$10 gate, 6 and under free

9 a.m.-6 p.m., Public Gates Open

11 a.m., 500 Festival Community Day Pin Distribution, Pagoda Plaza

11 a.m.-noon, Firestone Indy Lights Driver Autograph Session, Plaza Pavilion 1C/1D

12:30-1:30 p.m., Indy 500 Autograph Session #1 Wristband Distribution, MotoGP Garage 36

1:30-2:30 p.m., Indy 500 Autograph Session #1, Plaza Pavilion 1C/1D

2-3 p.m., Indy 500 Autograph Session #2 Wristband Distribution, MotoGP Garage 36

3-4 p.m., Indy 500 Autograph Session #2, Plaza Pavilion 1C/1D

3:30-4:30 p.m., Indy 500 Autograph Session #3 Wristband Distribution, MotoGP Garage 36

4:30-5:30 p.m., Indy 500 Autograph Session #3, Plaza Pavilion 1C/1D

Thursday, May 24 FIRESTONE FREEDOM 100 PRACTICE, QUALIFYING - Free

8 a.m.-6 p.m., Public Gates Open

9 a.m.-noon, Firestone Indy Lights Practice

1:15-2:15 p.m., Firestone Indy Lights Qualifying

2:30-4 p.m., Vintage Car Laps

Friday, May 25 MILLER LITE CARB DAY - $20 admission, 12 and under free

8 a.m.-6 p.m., Public Gates Open

10:30-11 a.m., Q&A with IndyCar Crew Members, Coca-Cola Stage

10:45 a.m., Firestone Pin Distribution, Pagoda Plaza

11 a.m.-noon, Indianapolis 500 Final Practice

12:30 p.m., Firestone Freedom 100 (40 laps)

1:35 p.m., Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge

3:30 p.m., Miller Lite Carb Day Concert featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd

Saturday, May 26 LEGENDS DAY HONORING ROGER PENSKE PRESENTED BY SHELL V-POWER - $10 admission; 12 and under free

8 a.m.-6 p.m., Public Gates Open

8:45-9 a.m., Chase Rookie of the Year Candidates Q&A, Coca-Cola Stage

9-10 a.m., 2011 Starting Field/Indy 500 Winners Autograph Session, Pagoda Plaza

9 a.m.-4 p.m., Indianapolis 500 Memorabilia Show, Plaza Pavilion 1A/1B

9:30-10:20 a.m., Vintage Car Laps

10:30-11 a.m., Public Drivers Meeting, Tower Terrace

11-11:30 a.m., Q&A with Roger Penske, Coca-Cola Stage

1-4 p.m., Indy 500 Veterans Autograph Session, Pagoda Plaza

Sunday, May 27 96TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 RACE DAY - Tickets start at $30

5:33 a.m.-6 p.m., Public Gates Open

7 a.m., Snake Pit Opens

8:30 a.m., Parade of Bands

9:30 a.m., 500 Festival Princesses Lap

11 a.m., Vintage Car Lap

11:10 a.m., Military Tribute Lap

11:30 a.m., Driver Introductions

Noon, Start of 96th Indianapolis 500 (200 laps)

***

2012 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 96th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at www.imstix.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Children 12 and under will be receive free general admission to any IMS event in 2012 when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales

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