INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (February 19, 2016) - The countdown is on!
Friday officially marks 100 days to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Special events and ceremonies were held all day long beginning with Midnight on the Yard of Bricks at IMS.
The scoring pylon was turned into a special countdown clock. Drivers were also hand-signing autographs.
The celebration then moved to the Indiana Statehouse where a special Indy car was parked in the atrium. The state and city gave special proclamations marking the day.
Then, it was over to the Hall of Fame Museum at IMS where a special exhibit celebrated 50 years of Team Penske was unveiled.
“Being able to celebrate it at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is just incredible. The display here for Roger (Penske) to be able to have all the winning cars and memorabilia out like this for the public to see, you know everybody wins with it,” said four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears.
Mears says he’s looking forward to celebrating the 100th running and is encouraging everyone to come experience “Indy.”
“It’s gonna be a long time before it happens again. It’s a great opportunity for everybody to be involved,” said Mears.
For many like 4 time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, the excitement of the anniversary race is already in full swing.
“This place for me is magical and I still have a lot of fight inside of me to go out there and make sure that we can get more wins,” said Castroneves.
“On days like today, you’re reminded how much we have to celebrate not only here for the city of Indianapolis, but for all the residents of our great state because the world comes to Indianapolis every Memorial Day weekend for the running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and to celebrate the 100th running is truly special,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
Helio Castroneves also unveiled the legendary “Yellow Submarine” car he’ll be driving at this year’s race which is very similar to the car four-time winner Rick Mears used to drive.
The celebration even traveled to the big apple where a special countdown event took place at the New York Stock Exchange during the closing bell.
The day concluded with an invitation-only event in downtown Indianapolis.