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DATE News (chronologically)
05/09/09
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Fans Can Join In Fun At 37th 'Last Row Party'  After a full schedule of activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, May 22, race fans can eat, drink and laugh as three Indianapolis 500 drivers share the hot seat at the 37th Last Row Party.

The Last Row Party, scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. (ET) at the pavilion at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, honors the drivers starting on the 11th and final row of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" with a dinner and roast. Brickyard Crossing is located at 4400 W. 16th St., adjacent to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Turn 2.

Tickets are $40 per person, or $375 for a table of 10, which includes entertainment, dinner, soft drinks and three beer tickets for party goers age 21 and older. A cash bar is also available. For reservations, call (317) 974-3000 or e-mail jlabalme.indypress@att.net. VISA or MasterCard is accepted.

One of the "500's" best peripheral events for fans, Last Row Party attendees can mingle with Indianapolis 500 drivers, share a laugh at the drivers' expense and support a great cause. Bob Jenkins, the popular host of the VERSUS network's IndyCar Series coverage and an IMS Public Address announcer, will serve as host. The event benefits the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation, which annually presents thousands of dollars in scholarships and cash-prizes for creative writing to journalism students attending colleges and universities in Indiana.

Since 1973, the Last Row Party has paid tribute to the resilient drivers claiming the 31st, 32nd and 33rd spots in the Indianapolis 500 field. Many open-wheel racing legends have occupied a space in the back row of the Indianapolis 500 field in the past, including former "500" winners Mario Andretti, Gordon Johncock, Johnny Rutherford, Tom Sneva and Al Unser. 1996 winner Buddy Lazier joined the "Last Row Society" in 2008.

The back-row qualifiers will be awarded special jackets, checks for 31, 32 and 33 cents, respectively, and have their names affixed to a trophy honoring all 11th-row starters. A highlight of the evening's festivities is the Press Club Foundation's silent and live auctions of racing and other sports memorabilia, tickets to major sporting events, vacation trips, restaurant gift cards and entertainment gift certificates.

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