Kroger Super Weekend At The Brickyard Notebook

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series drivers will sign autographs during sessions Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28 during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Four separate autograph sessions will take place between 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, July 27 at Chalet No. 4 in the Pagoda Plaza during Chevy Day, with Nationwide Series drivers taking part in an autograph session from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 28 in the East Chalet No. 2 in the Pagoda Plaza.

Among the drivers scheduled to participate Friday are Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick. Stay tuned to for a list of Nationwide Series drivers participating Saturday.

Ticket holders are eligible to participate in the autograph sessions by picking up wristbands, while supplies last, for the autograph session of their choice. Only one wristband will be distributed to each ticket holder, first come, first served.

Wristband distribution will begin at 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday in the East Chalet adjacent to the Pagoda Plaza, with wristbands distributed only for that respective day's sessions. All adults and children must have wristbands to be admitted to one of the autograph sessions. There is a limit of one autographed item from each driver per person. All autograph sessions on Friday, July 27 will take place in Chalet No. 4 on Pagoda Plaza.

The Friday autograph session schedule:

Session 1 (11-11:55 a.m.): Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Danica Patrick
Session 2 (12:50-1:45 p.m.): Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman
Session 3 (1:10-2:10 p.m.): Jeff Gordon
Session 4 (3-4 p.m.): Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart

A number of GRAND-AM Road Racing drivers and selected NASCAR drivers will sign autographs from 6:45-7:15 p.m. Thursday, July 26 during the Hauler Parade on Main Street in nearby Speedway, Ind.

Fans also can hear from many of their favorite drivers during Q&A and interview sessions on the Chevy Stage during the Kroger Super Weekend located in the parking lot just east of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

The Q&A/interview session schedule:

Friday, July 27
11:45-11:55 a.m.: Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman
12:45-1 p.m.: Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Danica Patrick
4:05- 4:20 p.m.: Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart

Saturday, July 28
11:45 a.m.: Justin Allgaier
2:30 p.m.: James Buescher

Sunday, July 29
9:15 a.m.: Jamie McMurray
9:30 a.m.: Paul Menard, Regan Smith
9:45 a.m.: Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya
10 a.m.: Kevin Harvick
10:30 a.m.: Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson


Burn ban in effect at IMS: Open burning, such as comfort fires and campfires of any kind, will be banned on Indianapolis Motor Speedway property from July 25-30 during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard due to a significant fire hazard created by persistently dry environmental conditions and the absence of significant rainfall.

Fireworks and grilling devices that use a source of ignition other than gas also are not permitted. Specific ignition sources prohibited during this period:

•Comfort fires or camp fires on the ground or in elevated devices
•Charcoal or any non-gas grills of any kind
•Fireworks of any kind

Gas grills are permitted in camping and tailgating areas during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard but are required to be operated at a minimum of 18 inches off the ground, with 36 inches off the ground as the preferred height for the safest usage.

The Town of Speedway also started a burn ban June 28. The Speedway Fire Department will assist in patrols and education of customers during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard event concerning the Town of Speedway burn ban as well as the burn ban initiated by IMS to ensure a safe environment for all customers attending the event.

IMS asks all customers camping on or around Speedway property to be careful concerning the potential threat of ignition to dry areas of grass that could be caused by common sources of heat and fire that are permitted, such as cigarettes, recreational vehicle generator exhaust, vehicle engine heat, fluids from hot vehicle engines and gas grills.

If a fire occurs, please call 911 immediately to contact local authorities.


Sunday shuttles available: Roundtrip Race Day bus shuttle service is available for the 19th annual Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Powered by on Sunday, July 29 at four convenient locations, including three in downtown Indianapolis and one at Indianapolis International Airport.

Tickets are $25 per person for one-way or round-trip service. Tickets can be ordered in advance at They also can be purchased on Race Day at each location, with credit card, debit card and cash accepted.

Service will be provided by the SODREL Companies, the Free Enterprise System and Star of America Motor Coach, in partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fans will be served with air-conditioned shuttles and handicapped-accessible vehicles on all routes.

Service to the track will start at 8 a.m. at all four locations, with continuous shuttles until noon. Return service will take place for three hours after the end of the race, with all shuttles leaving from the staging area at the parking lot on the southeast corner of 16th Street and Polco Street in Speedway.

Shuttle details:

Pink Route
•Location: 1220 S. West St., Indianapolis (Corner of West and Morris Streets).
•Parking: $5 per car, cash only.

Black Route
•Location: IUPUI Lot 73 and 92, Downtown Campus, Corner of Michigan and California Streets in Indianapolis, with access from Michigan Street.
•Parking: $5 per car, cash only.

Purple Route
•Location: Hampton Inn Downtown, 105 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis (across from Circle Centre Mall and Hard Rock Café)
•Parking: None

Blue Route
•Location: Ground Transportation Lobby, Zone 1 at the airport. Get tickets inside at Star of America booth.
•Parking: $10 per car, airport garage. Fans must show race ticket stub to cashier upon exit to receive this special rate.


Fans can feel power in Thunder Alley: NASCAR Sprint Cup teams are on the move after 18 years at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the top 35 cars in the points working from the pitside MotoGP garages instead of Gasoline Alley during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard.

The move will let fans in the grandstands across the track from the MotoGP garages get a much closer look at teams' preparations for the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Powered by

Fans also can get as close to the action as possible through Thunder Alley, a free area located near the far south end of the MotoGP garages, in front of the last building behind Gasoline Alley.

Thunder Alley will put fans just 30 feet from the back door of the garages of the top 10 drivers in the Sprint Cup point standings, and those doors will be open all weekend for great viewing opportunities. Fans in Thunder Alley also will see and feel Sprint Cup cars in points positions 36 and lower and all NASCAR Nationwide Series cars – which will use the traditional Gasoline Alley garages – rumble past them as they enter the track.

To access Thunder Alley, fans must walk down Hulman Boulevard in the center of the infield and turn down 5th Street, next to the IU Emergency Health Medical Center, and continue to walk along the south edge of Gasoline Alley to the building just across from the MotoGP garages.


Fan Walk Friday: Fans attending the full day of GRAND-AM Road Racing action Friday, July 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be permitted to walk the pit lane from noon-12:35 p.m., getting an up-close look at the high-performance machinery that will race later that day in the Brickyard Grand Prix and Brickyard Sports Car Challenge.

Among the features during the Fan Walk will be a pit stop demonstration by the reigning Daytona Prototype championship team, TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and a driver autograph session.


Stars converge in GRAND-AM: An impressive list of Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 veterans will compete in the GRAND-AM Brickyard Grand Prix on Friday, July 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It's the inaugural GRAND-AM race at IMS, as Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype and GT cars will race for three hours on the 13-turn, 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course.

Indianapolis 500 veterans include 2000 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, 2008 winner Scott Dixon, Paul Tracy, Eliseo Salazar, Scott Pruett and Sebastien Bourdais. Brickyard 400 veterans include 2010 winner Jamie McMurray, Montoya, Pruett, Boris Said and Andy Lally. Montoya, McMurray and Dixon are forming an all-star team of Indianapolis winners, sharing the No. 02 Chevron BMW/Riley fielded by Chip Ganassi.

The three-race North American Endurance Championship presented by also will be decided at this event, with the Daytona Prototype champion team earning a $100,000 bonus. The special series started with the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January and continued with the Sahlen's Six Hours at the Glen on July 1 at Watkins Glen International.


Unique aircraft in flyover: Two V-22 Osprey tilt-rotator aircraft used by the U.S. Marine Corps will perform the flyover shortly before the 19th annual Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 Powered by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, July 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The versatile Ospreys land vertically like a helicopter and fly like a plane by tilting wing-mounted rotors that function as propellers. The Osprey is used by the Marines for a variety of purposes, including troop and cargo transport, amphibious assault, special operations and search and rescue missions.

The flyover will be the culmination of pre-race ceremonies that pay special recognition to 100 years of U.S. Marine Corps aviation, acknowledging its growth in the early 20th century and distinguished service to the nation through to the present day.

Raul Malo, lead singer of The Mavericks, will sing the national anthem while rising country star Sunny Sweeney will sing "America the Beautiful."

Indiana native singer-songwriter Corey Cox will sing the national anthem before the Indiana 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday, July 28 at IMS.


Fans help troops attend '400:' Thanks to generous fans and the combined efforts of Wish For Our Heroes (W4OH), the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indiana National Guard, 117 Indiana-based soldiers will attend the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by Sunday, July 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Fans donated $10,000 to the W4OH campaign that is providing reserved seats for military members for the 19th annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at IMS. A national, non-profit organization based in Noblesville, Ind., Wish For Our Heroes coordinated the purchase and delivery of the tickets to the participating soldiers.

For the first time, Wish For Our Heroes provided fans with the opportunity to help send active United States military or veterans to the Indianapolis 500, the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by or the Red Bull Indianapolis GP in 2012.

The "Wish Fund" program is accepting donations to send soldiers to the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race Sunday, Aug. 19 at IMS.

Wish For Our Heroes provides fans three ways to salute American service members through contributions or donations at or
•Contribute funds: Contribute $5 or more toward the purchase of a 2012 IMS event ticket for an active-duty service member or veteran.
•Purchase tickets: Purchase a 2012 IMS event ticket for an active-duty service member or veteran.
•Donate tickets: Donate extra or unused 2012 IMS event tickets to an active-duty service member or veteran.

Fans may also make donations to send soldiers to the Red Bull Indianapolis GP during the pre-race infield concert before the start of the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by on Sunday, July 29. Ten active-duty soldiers will be in the concert crowd accepting donations.

Fans who donate the purchase price of a ticket to the "Wish Fund" can designate the service branch and service status (active, reserves, National Guard, veteran, wounded veteran) of the ticket recipient. "Wish Fund" contributors who donate tickets or the purchase price of a ticket also can receive a picture of the military recipient and learn more about their dedicated service to the country.

Wish For Our Heroes strives to relieve the burdens of family separation, reintegration for deployed soldiers, hardship circumstances and other means of assistance not covered by existing military charities. W4OH is a tax-exempt charity under Code Section 501(c)(3).


Nice mix for Indiana 250: The entry list for the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indiana 250 on Saturday, July 28, features an interesting mix of drivers.

A handful of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars will race in the 100-lap event, including 2011 Brickyard 400 winner Paul Menard, 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne.

Also included are two female drivers, 2005 Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick and Johanna Long.

Two Indianapolis 500 veterans are entered, Patrick and 2006 winner Sam Hornish Jr.

Other interesting entries include action sports superstar Travis Pastrana and Jeffrey Earnhardt, grandson of 1995 Brickyard 400 winner Dale Earnhardt.

The Indiana 250 starts at 4:50 p.m. Saturday.


Indy is big one for Menard: The Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Powered by is widely considered to be the second-most prestigious race in NASCAR, behind the crown jewel Daytona 500.

But the race this Sunday at the Indianapolis 500 is the king for defending race champion Paul Menard.

"For me, personally, the Brickyard 400 is the biggest race that we go to," Menard said. "And I know for the sport, Daytona is considered the Super Bowl. But for me, personally, there's no race I would rather win than the Brickyard 400, and to be a two-time winner there would be even better yet."

Menard's father, John Menard, was a longtime sponsor and team owner of cars in the Indianapolis 500.

"What happened last year was great, and I'll always cherish it," Paul Menard said. "I have a lot of memorabilia from it. But the time now is to work on this year."


2012 Kroger Super Weekend tickets: Ticket orders for the 2012 Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard can be made at and through 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.

General admission tickets will cost $10 for Thursday, July 26, $30 for Friday, July 27, $25 for Saturday, July 28 and $30 for Sunday, July 29. A four-day Kroger Super Weekend general admission ticket is $80, a great value for the ultimate race weekend.

Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free any of the four days of the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.

Reserved tickets for the Saturday and Sunday action also will be available at various price ranges.

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