INDIANAPOLIS – The 1960s – a thrilling decade of heroes and some of the most beloved cars in Indianapolis 500 history – will be saluted through a variety of exciting activities for fans during Legends Day presented by Firestone on May 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Fan activities included with general admission to Legends Day presented by Firestone include:
– Autograph session with the full 2019 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge field from 9-10 a.m. in the Pagoda Plaza
– Public drivers’ meeting starting at 10:25 a.m. adjacent to the Tower Terrace stands
– Historic car laps on the historic IMS oval from 11:15 a.m.-12:20 p.m., including Indy cars from the 1960s
– Autograph session with retired Indy 500 drivers, with legends from the 1960s expected to participate, from noon-2:30 p.m. in the North Chalet
– Historic cars on display in trackside garages, including vehicles from the 1960s
General admission tickets for Legends Day presented by Firestone are available at IMS.com for $10, with kids 15 and under admitted free with an adult.
Legends Day general admission tickets do not include admission to the Firestone Legends Day Concert featuring multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon inside Turn 4 at IMS. Tickets for that exciting show start at $35 and also are available at IMS.com.
“There have been many great eras in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, but few have captivated the fans like the 1960s,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “It was a transformative decade of iconic drivers and machines that helped ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ reach a new level of global popularity. We can’t wait to share in this celebration with our loyal fans on Legends Day presented with Firestone, and we thank Firestone for its continued support of these events that create new magic and memories.”
The 1960s were one of the most transformative eras in the history of the world’s most prestigious auto race.
Indy icons such as Jim Rathmann, A.J. Foyt, Rodger Ward, Parnelli Jones, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Bobby Unser and Mario Andretti won “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” during the 1960s, while legends such as Al Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Gordon Johncock, Dan Gurney, Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Mark Donohue and Lloyd Ruby all made their Indianapolis 500 debuts during the decade. Team Penske, which has won a record 17 Indianapolis 500’s, also made its IMS debut in 1969.
Great technological change also swept across the Speedway during the decade. The 1960s started with the continued dominance of the hulking front-engine roadster cars, such as Jones’ famous No. 98 Watson/Offy nicknamed “Calhoun” that he drove to victory in 1963. But the revolution of lithe, rear-engine formula cars also took root during the decade, with Clark’s victory in a Lotus-Ford in 1965 starting a streak of Indy 500 wins by rear-engine cars that continues to this day.
Famous cars powered by gas turbine helicopter engines also captivated fans with their distinctive sound and set speed records in the late 1960s. Andretti’s 1969 race-winning Hawk III/Ford included aerodynamic pieces built into the body that set the stage for the wings that drastically increased downforce and speeds in the early 1970s at the Speedway.
The 1960s theme of Legends Day presented by Firestone also dovetails with the 50th anniversary celebration of the sole victory in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” by the legendary Andretti, in 1969. Andretti will be featured on Bronze Badge and Silver Badge credentials and in the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge Official Program.