Snapchat is partnering with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Verizon IndyCar Series to create a "Live Story" for the May 24 race on the famous 2.5-mile oval. Live Stories allow Snapchat users at the same event to contribute their unique, personal perspectives to one collective story through photo and video Snaps. A Snapchat team will package Snaps submitted from fans at IMS into a Live Story, which will then be available for Snapchatters to view for 24 hours.
"Live Stories capture a variety of perspectives, delivering a unique sense of community," said Ben Schwerin, Snapchat director of partnerships. "In partnering with the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we can bring Snapchatters closer to Sunday's excitement."
"Thousands of race fans use Snapchat to share moments from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and this partnership with Snapchat will allow those fans and many more to see the '500' in a new light," said C.J. O'Donnell, chief marketing officer for Hulman Motorsports. "We're looking forward to sharing many more memories on Snapchat."
Drivers Get Final Instructions at Public Meeting
Drivers participating in the 99th Indianapolis 500 received final instructions and awards in the public drivers' meeting, the final race activity at the track before the race. Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay and racing legend Mario Andretti, representing his son, Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti, each accepted a "Baby Borg" trophy from Brady Ericson, president and general manager of BorgWarner Emission Systems, for being the winning driver and car owner at the 2014 Indianapolis 500.
The Baby Borg is a miniature replica of the famed Borg-Warner Trophy, which bears the bas-relief likeness, name and average speed of every Indianapolis 500 winner. Hunter-Reay and Andretti received winning driver and car owner's rings from Ken Keltner of Herff Jones and Gordon Knapp, COO of Bridgestone Americas, respectively.
"It's been a productive morning for me," Mario Andretti joked. "I've been wanting a Baby Borg, since I only got a plaque to honor my win (in 1969), so I'm keeping this and the ring, too."
Firestone also awarded its Legends of the Indianapolis 500 Award to four-time "500" winner Al Unser. A $20,000 donation will made in his name to the Unser Children's Discovery Center in Unser's hometown of Albuquerque, N.M.
Unser also was honored as part of Legends Day at IMS and addressed the 33-driver field. "Who wants to trade me?" he asked. "I don't want the back row. I've been there."
Deb Osza, general manager for the American Dairy Association of Indiana, presented the "Winners Drink Milk" plaque honoring Louis Meyer to Hunter-Reay for his victory last year. Keltner presented special Indianapolis 500 starter's rings by Herff Jones to all 33 drivers.
Brian Barnhart, Verizon IndyCar Series race director, concluded the drivers' meeting by discussing race rules and guidelines with the drivers.
ABC Race Broadcast Will Track Drivers' Biotelemetry
For the first time, the ABC broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 will track drivers' heart rates during the race and how they change under stressful situations. Dr. Terry Lyles, an internationally recognized expert in human performance, stress management and life coaching, developed a biotelemetry system that will be worn by Jakes Jakes, driver of the No. 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, and Sage Karam, driver of the No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chevrolet, in the race.
Jakes and Karam will each wear a sensor on the left side of their chest, near the base of the heart. Readings from the sensor will be sent through the race cars' on-board telemetry, allowing the ESPN production crew to capture the data for use on the broadcast.
"We'll be able to show the viewers how a drivers' baseline heart rate can fluctuate under stress and anxiety levels during the race, under G-force in the corners and how it changes when the driver is about the experience a pit stop," said Dr. Jerry Punch, one of ABC's pit reporters.
The 99th Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast on ABC for the 51st consecutive year, with the pre-race show beginning at 11 a.m. ET May 24.
"We're always looking for better ways to serve fans and this is an opportunity to bring the viewers something they've never seen before," said Rich Feinberg, vice president of production for ESPN.
The Indianapolis 500 may also be heard on the IMS Radio Network, including affiliate stations, XM 209, Sirius 212 and indycar.com.
Folds of Honor Families Leave Their Mark on Davison's Car
James Davison is hoping to have a little extra push in the Indianapolis 500. Davison and his Dale Coyne Racing team hosted a group of military veterans from Folds of Honor and their families for a garage tour before members of the group affixed their thumbprints to the ReplayXD logos on the rear wing of the No. 19 Honda that Davison will drive in the race. Folds of Honor provides scholarships to the spouses and children of fallen heroes.
"It's just a fantastic opportunity to be a true part of what the Indy 500 is in honoring and saluting the current military personnel and the veterans," Davison said. "I'm just so pleased that AE/ReplayXD and Dale Coyne Racing could find a way to make a unique salute."
Davison, who will start 33rd in his second Indy 500 after teammate Tristan Vautier qualified his car while Davison was racing a sports car in Canada, is up for the challenge of starting in the back. He knows he has a strong car after running 11th in the Carb Day practice on May 22.
"It all comes down to race car," he said. "If you have a good car, you'll move forward. If you don't, you won't. I've done less mileage than I did last year and we need to hope we've nailed the setup. I ran 11th yesterday and was fourth twice in practice, so I know we can run with the top teams."
The No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing crew for driver Graham Rahal won the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award and its $10,000 prize with a total pit-lane time of 80.341 seconds during the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9. … Tristan Vautier, driver of the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda, was visited in his Gasoline Alley garage by a group from Gigi's Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers. The visitors gave Vautier a good luck sign made of paper bricks, reminiscent of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's yard of bricks. … Jake Eidson (Pabst Racing) jumped ahead of polesitter Nico Jamin (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) heading into Turn 1 on the opening lap and led the rest of the way to win the Mazda Freedom 75, the first Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda oval race of the season. The race was run on the 0.686-mile Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Brownsburg, Ind. Jamin still leads Eidson by 15 points in the standings after nine of 16 races. … Polesitter Weiron Tan (Andretti Autosport) led all 90 laps to win the Freedom 90 Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires race at Lucas Oil Raceway Park. Tan beat Will Owen (Juncos Racing) by 0.4261 of a second. Neil Alberico (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) finished third. … Actor and former Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner Patrick Dempsey was named honorary starter and will wave the green flag to start the Indianapolis 500.