The 2021 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge Official Souvenir Program is on sale now and features one of the most unique covers in race history: A three-time Indy 500 winner drawing his friends and rivals, the race’s four-time winners.
Johnny Rutherford, winner of the 1974, ’76 and ’80 Indianapolis 500 and a passionate artist, used a pencil method to draw the cars of the winningest drivers in Indy 500 history who all share an anniversary in 2021 – A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears – for this year’s program cover.
Rutherford drew the roadster Foyt drove to his first Indy 500 victory 60 years ago, in 1961; Unser’s Johnny Lightning Special he earned his second Indy win with 50 years ago, in 1971; and Mears’ iconic red-and-white car he won his fourth Indy 500 with 30 years ago, in 1991.
“It’s an honor to be able to be a part of this project and to do this program cover,” Rutherford said. “I just hope the fans like it and everybody enjoys the fact that it was me, a three-time winner here, that drew that. Add this to what I’ve accomplished at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in my career, and it’s special.”
The program cover was an artistic collaboration between Rutherford and IMS graphic designer Amiah Mims. After Rutherford provided the drawings of the cars, Mims reimagined the 1980 INDYCAR SERIES champion’s artwork in a digital format and integrated it onto a digitally created background that highlights the cars Rutherford drew, as well as the world-famous Yard of Bricks.
Mims is also a freelance artist who has been involved in Indianapolis-area works such as Welcome Race Fans 2019, the Black Lives Matter Boarded Window Mural project, the Black Lives Matter Street Mural project and the Indianapolis Recorder building mural, among other projects.
“Designing, illustrating and painting has always been my passion, and I’m proud to be able to use my love for art to help tell the history of the Indianapolis 500,” Mims said. “It’s an honor to be one of many artists to have had a part in the Indianapolis 500 and to work alongside a legend like Johnny Rutherford.”
The Official Program was created with the help of three well-known printing organizations. The program cover was printed by Lake County Press, while the interior and binding of the program was printed by Hess Print Solutions. The customer loyalty poster insert was printed by Miles Printing, a woman-owned and local printing business.
The Official Program Cover features a four-color process with a metallic ink, tinted varnish and two reticulation plates.
The 208-page souvenir program is available now for $15 at shop.ims.com and at Official Trackside Gift Shops at IMS and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
Many great feature stories about “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” are included in the program, covering topics such as:
- The results of the Race for Equality & Change after just 10 months
- A touching feature on retired IMS Historian Donald Davidson
- Appreciation for the IMS Ticket Office and one of the Speedway’s hardest workers, Linda Price
- Reliving Marco Andretti’s pole-sitting run last August and what it meant to him
- A recap of the 2020 Indy 500 and the impact of its lack of fans by IMS President J. Douglas Boles
- Defending Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Takuma Sato
- The story of how Pato O’Ward went from failing to make the Indy 500 to becoming the race’s 2020 Rookie of the Year
- The fast friendship of Rinus VeeKay and Alex Palou that formed out of quarantining together during the COVID-19 pandemic
- The bright future of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
- A celebration of Indy 500 anniversaries in 2021, including the 100-year anniversary of Tommy Milton’s first win
The Official Program also features biographies of drivers attempting to make the field of 33 for the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 30