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DATE News (chronologically)
05/22/07
irl
Dozens of celebrities to attend 91st Indianapolis 500  Celebrities from around the world are flocking to Indianapolis this weekend for the 91st Indianapolis 500 and events surrounding the race.

The celebrities will attend the race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, May 27. Many of the stars will walk the red carpet in the Pagoda Plaza starting at 10 a.m. and take celebrity Pace Car laps around the famed 2.5-mile IMS oval starting at 11:30 a.m.

Carlos Diaz, a correspondent for the popular entertainment magazine show "Extra," will be the master of ceremonies on the red carpet.

Headlining the list of celebrities is actor Patrick Dempsey, the star the ABC hit series "Grey's Anatomy." Dempsey will drive the 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Pace Car to lead the field of 33 drivers to the start of the race.

Dempsey also is a co-owner of Vision Racing, which has four cars this year in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Other celebrities with connections to race teams or drivers expected to attend are late-night television icon and Indianapolis native Dave Letterman, a co-owner of Rahal Letterman Racing and its two Indy 500 entries, and actress Ashley Judd, wife of Indianapolis 500 driver Dario Franchitti.

Besides Dempsey, "Grey's Anatomy" cast members expected to attend the Indianapolis 500 include Eric Dane and Ellen Pompeo. Other prominent film and television celebrities coming to the Speedway include actors Dennis Farina ("Get Shorty," "Law & Order"), Ray Liotta ("Wild Hogs," "Goodfellas") and Jesse Metcalfe ("Desperate Housewives," "John Tucker Must Die"), and musicians Daughtry, which will perform live on the Coca-Cola Stage before the race at IMS, Chris Cornell and Ludacris.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLI in February, will wave the green flag as the race's honorary starter.

Many of the celebrities in Indianapolis for race weekend will attend or participate in community events such as the IPL 500 Festival Parade starting at noon Saturday, May 26 in downtown Indianapolis and the Regions Bank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball at 6 p.m. that day at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.

Other celebrities and musical acts expected to attend the 91st Indianapolis 500 (listed in alphabetical order):
.Jennifer and Danny Bias, winners of ESPN "I AM INDY" contest
.Rupert Boneham ("Survivor)
.Ruth Buzzi, actress and comedian
.Tyler Christopher ("General Hospital")
.The Commodores (J.D. Nicholas, Clyde Orange, WAK King)
.Sergei Fedorov, NHL star (Columbus Blue Jackets)
.William Fichtner, actor ("Prison Break," "Blades of Glory")
.Aimee Garcia, actress ("George Lopez")
.Dr. Gloria ("Oprah" angel)
.Jaslene Gonzalez, model (Winner of this season's"America's Next Top Model")
.Florence Henderson, actress and entertainer
.Edward Herrmann, actor ("Gilmore Girls," "The Aviator")
.Gen. Paul V. Hester, Commander, U.S. Pacific Air Forces
.Chris "Lights Out" Lytle, Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor
.Candice Michelle (WWE Diva, Go Daddy Girl)
.Jim Nabors, actor and entertainer
.John Oates, musician (Hall & Oates)
.Pat O'Brien, television host ("Access Hollywood")
.Apolo Anton Ohno, Olympic gold medalist and actor ("Dancing with the Stars")
.Melissa Rivers, actress and television host
.Gene Simmons, musician (KISS) and actor ("Gene Simmons Family Jewels")
.Alison Sweeney, actress ("Days of Our Lives")
.Major Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, Adjutant General of Indiana, Indiana National Guard
.Gen. Chuck Yeager (first person to break sound barrier)

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