The "World's Largest Autograph Session" is one of the highlights of new fan attractions scheduled at IMS the day before the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500. Every living driver from the Indianapolis 500 has been invited to IMS for Race Weekend, with many indicating they will return, including some who raced in the roadster era of the 1950s.
"One consistent message has come through loud and clear during our conversations with fans – they love the rich history of the Indianapolis 500," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. president and chief executive officer. "We have the greatest fans in the world, and we want to provide them with the history and memories they cherish. They are going to love it."
Fans will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reconnect with their heroes for autographs, photos and maybe even a little conversation during the new autograph session with veteran drivers from noon-4 p.m.
Other exciting features of the day include:
â€¢A full-scale memorabilia show already so popular that vendor space sold out within 48 hours.
â€¢A display of vintage sprint and midget race cars, with several driven by the greatest legends of the Brickyard: Foyt, Andretti, Rutherford and the Unsers.
â€¢Book signings featuring authors of new books about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its history.
â€¢The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum will be open with its incredible new exhibition of 67 Indianapolis 500-winning cars.
All of this entertainment will be presented along with the traditional offerings at the Speedway on the day before the Indy 500, such as the Field of 33 drivers' autograph session from 9-10 a.m. and the annual drivers' meeting with awards presentations and last-minute instructions. The Field of 33 drivers' autograph session will be enhanced by the inclusion of most of the 27 living winners of the Indianapolis 500.
Drivers from across the decades, some coming from great distances, have confirmed their attendance at this event and the entire race weekend. Three examples are Teo Fabi, Kenny Brack and Don Edmunds.
Fabi is traveling from his native Italy. Former Formula One and CART star Fabi won the pole for the 1983 Indianapolis 500 as a rookie. He also scored four victories the same year, finishing second in the championship.
1999 Indianapolis 500 winner Brack is returning to the Speedway from his home in London. Brack, a native of Sweden, won nine Indy-style races during his career and the 1998 IZOD IndyCar Series championships. He is also an accomplished musician best known in racing circles for his rock song "Legend of the Speedway" about four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, who owned the car Brack drove to victory at Indianapolis.
Edmunds drove a Kurtis-Kraft Offenhauser roadster to 19th place in the 1957 Indianapolis 500, winning the Rookie of the Year award in his only "500" start. Edmunds continued his career in sprint cars and midgets, earning Hall of Fame honors for his success.
2011 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, "The Most Important Race in History," on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 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 2011 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 Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.