We’ve entered the IMS off-season. Labor Day has passed and Fall is on its way. Eight months and almost three seasons will go by before we can kick off the 2013 event season in May. Sounds depressing, right? But maybe it isn’t quite so bad.
If we didn’t have the off-season would May really be as special for IMS and all of our fans? If we didn’t spend months in anticipation and if we didn’t spend months reliving moments of greatness that took place on the hallowed Yard of Bricks, would it really be as significant? Think about it.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum is open to visitors all year.
Doesn’t this hold true for so many things in life? Christmas, summer, and the IU basketball season just wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t spend time missing them. Okay, maybe the IU basketball season is a personal preference.
Don’t let the off-season blues get to you though, because there is much more to do at IMS than our events in May, July and August. You may not be able to see cars speeding around the oval at 220+ mph anytime you want, but you can visit our facility every month of the year!
Earlier in the summer I attended the Indianapolis 500. On Sunday, July 31st, 2011 the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) hosted the 18th Annual Brickyard 400, which was the first Brickyard 400 I had ever attended. I didn’t know what to expect. I had never been to a NASCAR Race before. I wondered how the NASCAR cars would compare to open wheeled cars.
Before the race I went to the infield. We passed by the Pagoda and noticed a big crowd, so we went to see what was happening. Security blew whistles and one white van after another pulled up through the crowd of people. I saw the majority of the drivers and family members as they walked through the Pagoda to the otherside to prepare for the race. It was amazing to be so close to the drivers.
Grace Ybarra - Scholastic Kid Reporter
Before the race, I watched Desert Storm/Shield Veterans, Mayor Greg Ballard, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire on the winners podium. At the end of the National Anthem there was a US Navy T-45 Goshawk Jet Flyover and hundreds of red, white, and blue balloons were released into the sky. I loved hearing IMS Chairman of the Board, Mary Hulman George, say those famous words “Gentlemen, start your engines.” I was very excited that Hope Solo, US Women’s Soccer Goalie, came to the Brickyard to drive the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport pace car around for two laps before the start of the race.
When I was walking through the tunnel to get to our seats I put my hand on the top of the tunnel and you could feel the cars drive over your head. Every time the cars passed by your entire body shook. The NASCAR cars are definitely louder than IndyCars.
Once in our seats we watched the cars race around and pit. During the middle of the race Kyle Busch was leaving his pit while his neighbor, Tony Stewart was entering his pit. Kyle drove straight while Tony drove left into him. Both cars were damaged so they entered the pits and both pit crews took out sledgehammers and started beating the car back into shape. The sledgehammer is definetly something you definitely don’t see in open wheel racing.
I really enjoyed the unique designs on the NASCAR cars. My favorite car was Kyle Busch’s M&M Car. Even the tires advertised M&Ms with the multicolored M&Ms in the center of the tires.
Kyle Bush in the pits - Photo by Grace Ybarra
As the race neared the end, it was anybody’s race. After most cars pitted during the last twenty laps it was certainly unclear who was going to win it. When Jeff Gordon entered the pits he was in first place but when he came out of the pits he was in 18th place. Nothing stopped him though. He sped past 16 drivers and landed himself in second place on the final white flag lap. Paul Menard still stood in front of him. On turn four Gordon was close enough to catch Menard, although he didn’t pull it off. Menard came zooming across the bricks for his first NASCAR win. He drove his yellow 27 car in circles with smoke filling the air. The last five laps was pure adreneline.
I was glad to see such an exciting finish for my first Brickyard 400.
What was your first Brickyard 400 experience like?
Sunday 4:30 PM – The 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records has come to a close – and the conclusion was an unforgettable one for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Paul Menard and his father John Menard. John Menard is no stranger to the IMS oval with his history in IndyCar racing. He has spent time and money on racing at this track and today his hard work paid off when he saw his son cross over the yard of bricks and win the Brickyard 400. A big congratulations goes out to Paul for his win today, and for this being his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win.
This weekend had something for everyone – and next year’s Brickyard will include even more excitement. So start counting down to the 2012 Super Weekend. 364 days to go…. – Cassie
Paul Menard celebrates his win
Sunday 3:45 PM - We’re 123 laps into the 160 lap Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records. Brad Keselowski is currently in the lead as the cars circulate under caution after a small incident on the back stretch. Jeff Burton, Juan Pabolo Montoya, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson round out the top 5. We stepped out of the nice cool media center to hit the beach… The Brickyard Beach Bash that is.
Fans enjoy the Brickyard Beach Bash
If you’re looking for a place to cool off the Beach Bash is the spot. There’s pools, cool zones, beach volleyball, a bar, and the best part… LIVE MUSIC. There’s been a DJ running all morning with dance competitions and as we speak Iyaz is on stage performing for the crowd. If you’ve been to the Snake Pit before this is our NASCAR version of the famed turn 3 party. Believe me when I say, it’s a sight to be seen! -Brian
Speedway native, diehard IMS follower, and Dale Jr fan... Johnny gives the fans a taste of his dance moves.
Sunday 1:45 PM – The 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records is off and running. Kasey Kahne is currently out and front and looking strong (obviously, he’s my pick). Gordon, Ragan, Kenseth, and Allmendinger round out the top 5. It’s a beautiful day, hot, and perfect for racing. It should be a great race as the heat will have the cars slipping and sliding all over the place. Who’s your early pick for victory? What about leader at half distance? – Brian
Sunday 12:30 PM - Emily and I were lucky enough to spend the morning backstage at the Big Machine Records performances. We were up close and personal with Thomas Rhett, The Band Perry, Brantley Gilbert, and Justin Moore. It was an unforgettable experience! The fans loved every minute of the concerts and we got to capture some great pictures that you can find in our Flickr photostream. As soon as Justin Moore concluded the concerts on the Brickfest stage, Rascal Flatts began to rock out on the front straight. Fans who had pre-race pit passes got an awesome 3 song set from Rascal Flatts.
We’re now awaiting Reba McEntire’s performance. The stands are filling up and the waving of the green flag will happen before we know it!
Rascal Flatts on the Brickyard 400 stage
Sunday 11:28 AM – Cars are lined up on pit row. Tires are laid out. The pit stalls are ready. The green flag is inching closer. Who is your pick to kiss the bricks today? We want to know. – Daniel
Sunday 9:28 AM – NASCAR is hosting a tweetup at 10am on the Turn 2 side of the Hall of Fame museum. We’re headed that way. So is Big Machine Records. How about you Tweeps? – Daniel
Sunday 8:20 AM – It’s starting to heat up – and there’s more hustle and bustle. Fans are rolling in and the teams are starting to fill pit lane. Big Machine Records and their star studded line up of Rascal Flatts, Reba, The Band Perry and more, will get started at 9am. Cassie and Emily will be on hand to send out tweets, grab pics and report back later in the blog. In the meantime, put on some sunscreen and head this way. It’s going to be a great day of racing and music. – Daniel
We're here early
Sunday 6:05 AM – It’s 6 AM and the 2011 Brickyard 400 is off with a bang, literally. Just a few hours until some of the biggest names in country music take the stage at IMS. Big Machine Records has provided a fantastic line up including The Band Perry, Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts, and the legendary Reba McEntire.
A salute to US troops and the Brickyard Beach Bash are other great activities planned for today. The green flag will be waved at 1 PM and one lucky driver will be given the opportunity to kiss the bricks. We’ll be blogging through all the action, so be sure to keep checking back! – Cassie
The Pagoda at IMS
Saturday 6:15 PM - The 1st annual Brickfest was a hit – autograph sessions, an exciting round of qualifications, and a great concert by Hinder made the day quite a success. We headed out into the crowd of singing, dancing Hinder fans and searched for our Fan of the Day.
Alissa was decked out in Jimmie Johnson gear with her husband by her side dressed in Dale Jr gear and their son head to toe in Jeff Gordon attire. Alissa told us she waited in line for about an hour to get her wristband to get Jimmie’s autograph at the largest Sprint Cup autograph session of 2011. It seemed to be well worth the wait! She said the autograph session was what she was most looking forward to because she had never gotten an autograph. Alissa and her husband have attended the Brickyard 400 every year since 1998 and plan to attend next year’s Super Weekend.
Saturday 5:45 PM – Qualifying has ended and the driver wheeling the car with the paint scheme commemorating our Grand Marshal, Ned Jarrett, is on pole. David Ragan set the fastest lap in qualifying with a lap speed of 182.994. My choice for pole position, Kasey Kahne was just behind him in second place.
David Ragan 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records Pole Sitter
Here’s the top 10 after qualifying:
1.) David Ragan
2.) Kasey Kahne
3.) Jimmie Johnson
4.) Kurt Busch
5.) Brad Keselowski
6.) AJ Allmendinger
7.) Juan Pablo Montoya
8.) Jeff Gordon
9.) Matt Kenseth
10.) Carl Edwards
We’re off to the Hinder concert! – Brian
Saturday 3:25 PM – We caught up with Hope Solo and showed her around pit lane and Gasoline Alley. She got to rub elbows with lots of NASCAR and soccer fans, as well as meet Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon, 2nd place finisher JR Hildebrand, and NASCAR driver David Ragan. Hope talked about how excited she is to drive the pace car, driving over 100mph around IMS, being at such an amazing facility and how overwhelmingly friendly everyone has been. She’s still walking around soaking in all the excitement. – Daniel
JR Hildebrand and Hope Solo
Saturday 2:00 PM – We stepped out just a few minutes ago to check out the MASSIVE autograph session taking place in the chalet’s behind the pagoda. Today’s autograph session is actually the largest session in the NASCAR Sprint Cup this season. Drivers like Trevor Bayne, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon were all present for the second half of today’s two part autograph session.
Trevor Bayne at the autograph session.
After strolling through the session it was pretty obvious why fans were sprinting through the gates this morning to get in line for the wristband distribution. It’s not too often to get to experience these drivers in a face to face atmosphere, especially this many! It certainly was a rare experience and I’m sure many fans won’t forget anytime soon. – B
Saturday 11:30 AM – The practice session has concluded, and we took the time to check out the view from Club 94. Club 94 is ticket holders that have had tickets since the innagural Brickyard 400 – in 1994. Club 94 is located on the front straight, so it’s pretty much front row seats to all the NASCAR action all weekend long. Not to mention the food and shade from this crazy July heat. – Cassie
Outside of Club 94
Saturday 10:06 AM – Practice is underway at the Brickyard. In other news, US Women’s National Soccer Team Goalie, Hope Solo will be driving tomorrow’s 2011 Chevrolet Corvette. We already know she has good reflexes. – Daniel
Saturday 9:14 AM – Another good morning. We’re ready for a massive day at the Brickyard for Brickfest. Autograph Sessions. NASCAR Qualifying. Club 94. Kids Club activities. An open Hall of Fame Museum. Hinder in concert. And it’s only Saturday. It’s also going to be a hot one – so stay hydrated and well fed. Speaking of which, Cassie and I started our day off with a breakfast sandwich. It’s no breakfast burrito, but it got the job done. What are you eating today? Daniel
Saturday 6:45 AM – Good morning! It’s a bit damp here this morning after the late night showers we had here in Indy but the trucks are already out on the track doing laps in order to dry the track. Today’s a big day, it’s the 1st Annual Brickfest! We’re all looking forward to all the live music, autograph sessions, and obviously on-track activity.
An early morning at IMS
There’s been quite a bit of debate here in the media center as to who will take the pole for the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records but I’m going to go with Kasey Kahne. It’d be a big story if the week after his spectacular shunt in a World of Outlaws car he took the pole.
Who do you think will be sitting on top of the timing charts this afternoon? -Brian
Friday 5:55 PM - It’s the end of the day and we’re glad the weather held out. Tomorrow’s a big day – autograph session, qualifying with lots of track time and the Hinder concert. The Daily Trackside Report is available now, if you want a good dose of track facts and quotes. And below, we’ve got a slideshow of over 200 images from the Brickyard 400 so far. Have a great night. See you tomorrow? – Daniel
Friday 5:33 PM – It was another hot day, but it seemed much more bearable than yesterday. As practice ended, fans gathered around Gasoline Alley and Thunder Alley to cheer and jeer their favorite teams and drivers. It made me realize how loyal NASCAR fans are. Who’s your favorite driver? – Daniel
The Gasoline Alley sign
Friday 5:00 PM – The final practice session has ended concluding track activity for the day (other than the Richard Petty Driving Experience). This session had a bit more activity as one of the cars had an engine let go. After a yellow flag to clean up the track, we were back to green flag conditions and the practice ended with no other events.
Jeff Gordon on track
The final top 10 ended up like this:
1.) Greg Biffle
2.) Martin Truex Jr
3.) Jimmie Johnson
4.) Casey Mears
5.) Kevin Harvick
6.) Carl Edwards
7.) Joey Logano
8.) David Reutimann
9.) Jeff Burton
10.) Brian Vickers
Tomorrow’s a big day here at IMS. We’ve got live music all day (including Hinder!), the NASCAR Sprint Cup largest autograph session, Q&A sessions, and of course qualifying. We’ll also have an exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peak from inside the IMS Hall of Fame museum.
We’ll be here through it all, make sure you follow along. – Brian
Friday 3:45 PM – After the first practice session concluded we headed out towards Turn 3 for the vintage car show that will be going on all weekend, and it was impressive! If you’re coming to the track this weekend, make sure to head over and check it out.
Then it was time to find the Fan of the Day! True fans hang out by the garages and that’s exactly where we found Derek. He was wearing his Jeff Gordon hat, and surrounded by his family of Tony Stewart fans. I asked him why his favorite driver is Jeff Gordon and his little sister answered for him – “because he isn’t our favorite” meaning herself and their parents. This is Derek’s 3rd year in a row at the Brickyard 400 and he can’t wait to see Jeff Gordon win this weekend!
Derek & his family
Practice session #2 is almost over and at 5 the Richard Petty Driving Experience is taking over the IMS oval. Keep checking back to stay up-to-date on all of the Brickyard happenings. – Cassie
Friday 2:15 PM – The first practice for the 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records has just concluded. No major event to speak of as it was a caution free session. Matt Kenseth was the fastest of the session… followed by Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, and Jeff Burton.
Kasey Kahne crosses the yard of bricks
The next session starts at 3:15 PM ET. We’re heading out to go find our next Fan of the Day. So if you see us drive by be sure to scream and shout, we just might pick you! -Brian
Friday 11:30 AM – About an hour and a half ago, the 2011 Brickyard 400 pace car was unveiled. Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, and Jamie McMurray had the honor of taking the cover off of the Chevrolet Corvette. This is the 18th year in a row a Chevy has been featured as the Brickyard 400 pace car, in other words, a Chevy has always paced the Brickyard 400.
The driver of this year’s pace car is Hope Solo, the goalie of the US women’s soccer team. Racing, soccer, music, autographs – what more could you ask for in one weekend?- Cassie
Jeff Belskus, Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart, A lucky fan!, Jeff Chew, and Jimmie Johnson with the 2011 Pace Car
Friday 11:00 AM – I was lucky enough to climb onboard one of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro pace cars and go for a spin around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Any fan who was at IMS today and took a Chevrolet test-drive in the Chevy Experience area was granted a hot lap in a Camaro or Corvette. There aren’t very many feelings in this world like coming off turn 4 at IMS and heading down the front straight.
Heading down the front stretch at IMS
In the early morning the front stretch is similar to a long dark tunnel with the light at the end being turn 1. Roaring past the Pagoda at over 120 mph is an experience every diehard race fan should have. -Brian
Friday 8:45 AM - Good morning! The track is officially open and the 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records has begun. It’s Chevy Day and tons of exciting event are planned for today. People were seen sprinting through the gates this morning in order to get in line for the autograph session wristband give away. Vintage cars are rolling through the gates and concession stands are providing the fans with coffee and breakfast sandwiches.
Happy Friday morning from IMS!
There are TONS of things going on here today. There’s a vintage car show running the entirety of the day, autograph sessions, pace car rides and, of course, Sprint Cup practice. We’ll also have some exclusive behind-the-scenes photos coming from an event at the IMS Hall of Fame Museum. Stay tuned all day! -Brian
9:00 PM- The Hauler Parade was the perfect way to kick off Brickyard 400 weekend! The event was definitely successful, but we can’t say the same about our pit stop competition team. We lost first round, but it was a great time! NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, Ned Jarrett & David Ragan arrived and answered questions from fans to make the evening even more exciting.
We headed home early to rest up for another day of NASCAR action tomorrow, but the Hauler Parade will continue until around 11 PM. So if you haven’t yet, head to Main Street for some great Thursday night entertainment! – Cassie
Pit Stop Competition in Full Swing!
6:10 PM - Not gonna lie. It’s a hot one, but there are tons of fans on Main Street. And now they are joined by tons of NASCAR Haulers. The band is still playing and there a lots of refreshments, so it’s worth it. Up next? The pit stop challenge! Daniel
Up in the grill
5:10 PM - Headed to the Hauler Parade! We’re competing in the pit stop competition and everything! Head to Main St and join in on the fun and check back here later for full Hauler Parade details! -Cassie
3:40 PM - It’s hot here today and when I say hot, I mean that kind of hot where it feels like your eyes are sweating. Disregarding the heat, my colleague Cassie and I ventured out of the media center here at IMS with the goal of finding our first 2011 Brickyard 400 Fan of the Day. The grounds are mostly filled with workers diligently building stages, kiosks, and fan entertainment zones but we stumbled across this IMS first-timer at the Hall of Fame Museum.
Brickyard 400 Fan of the Day - Tony from Manchester, England
Tony is from Manchester, England and this weekend is his first visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A self-confessed Formula 1 fan, Tony is pulling for his namesake in the 2011 Brickyard 400, Tony Stewart. His favorite racing moment was Lewis Hamilton’s first win in Formula 1, obviously a big moment for all natives of England. When asked which event he’d be most excited to see in 2012 at the newly announced Super Weekend, Tony was eager to return for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
We’ll be looking for fans of the day all weekend. So keep your eyes peeled for Cassie, myself and our camera! -Brian
12:45 PM -2012 is already looking very different with a new Super Weekend at The Brickyard. Today the IMS announced that Crown Royal will become the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, July 29, 2012 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The announcement was even followed by a whisky tasting. So we’re off to a great start to this weekend – Daniel.
Crown Royal and the Bricks - coming in 2012
Set-Up Day at the Brickyard
10:45 AM – The 2011 Brickyard 400 has arrived and IMS is making final preparations. We’re all set up in the media center and awaiting the exciting activities! We’ll be covering everything from crazy fans to food being made in the drivers’ garages. At about 11:30 AM today, a HUGE announcement regarding next year’s Brickyard 400 will take place! We’ll be covering it, so check back later to get full details.
If you’re sitting at home wishing you could be here then open this link: Brickyard Tickets and purchase your weekend tickets! Concerts, autograph sessions and great NASCAR racing will be lighting up the Speedway, you don’t want to miss out! Follow us on Twitter (@IMS) and “like” our Facebook page to stay up-to-date all weekend as well! – Cassie
I’m not going to feed you a cheesy pick up line about the ‘hottest party of the summer’ or try to seduce you with Playboy’s smokin’ red headed Playmate, AJ Alexander. I’m not going to entice you with a bikini and hot body contest hosted by Colt’s punter Pat McAfee. I’m not going to tempt you with Live Nation concert tickets, and I’m certainly not going to lure you in with a headlining performance by multi-platinum R&B, hip hop and reggae fusion recording artist Iyaz.
No, I would never do those things to you.
But if by chance one or all of those things were to pique your interest, I’d be happy to tell you more. Oh – I should go on? Okay, you win.
On Sunday, July 31, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the second annual Brickyard Beach Bash at the Brickyard 400 sponsored by RadioNOW. Beginning at 10 am, party-goers can enjoy swimming pools, beer pong, volleyball, go-go dancers, and a dance party with DJ Indiana Jones and Gabby Love. Get your picture taken with May 2008 Playboy Playmate, AJ Alexander or join in the bikini and hot body contest hosted by Pat McAfee – each winner will receive $500!
2010 Beach Bash
Live Nation will also be on-site giving away tickets to concerts including Kings of Leon, Incubus and the Identity Festival. Speaking of concerts, you won’t want to miss the live performance by Iyaz of his hit singles “Replay” and “Pretty Girls.” The party goes on until the checkered flag waves.
Sound good? Great.
All you need to do is be 18 or over and have any race day ticket for admission. What’s that? You want a VIP pass? Alright, lean in and read closely. Show up at one of the follow locations and find one of the IMS Street Team members. Tell them I sent you.
2010 Beach Bash
Wednesday, July 27: Champps (downtown) 10pm – 2am ; 350 W. Maryland St., Indianapolis, IN
Friday, July 29: Bartini’s 10pm – 2am ; 39 West Jackson Place, Indianapolis, IN
Saturday, July 30: Sensu 10pm – 2am ; 225 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana
2011 Brickyard 400 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 2011 Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 31 at the 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.
Looking back, I doubt anyone can put a finger on precisely when they first met. But it was exactly the way everyone tells you it should be: fun. There was laughter, plenty of laughter and good times though, of course, the cynics swore it wouldn’t last. There were times when their antics together made them the talk of the town. There were times when new circles embraced them simply because they made more sense together than either of them ever could apart. And later this month, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, they will appear together for the Brickyard 400.
Of course, I am talking about racing and music.
The Brickyard 400 presented by BigMachineRecords.com will showcase multiple music artists from the Big Machine label prior to the start of the race on Sunday, July 31st. Here’s a breakdown of all the possible variations as to what this means for fans:
If… You love the IMS = you should come.
If… You love music = you should come.
If… You love NASCAR = you should come.
If… You love the IMS + You love music = you should come.
If… You love IMS + You love NASCAR = you should come.
If… You love music + You love NASCAR = you should come.
If… You love IMS + You love NASCAR + You love music = you should come
No matter which one of the above best describes you, there’s at least one good reason to make plans to be here for race day. Take a look at the full music and race day line up and grab your tickets now because if there are two things better suited for each other than music and racing, I’ve yet to meet them.
The Brickyard 400 is quickly approaching and while I’ll be perfectly content interning behind the scenes with the media department, it’s great to imagine what I’d be doing if I were attending as a fan. Conveniently enough, the Build Your Own Experience program allows me to do just that! Building your own experience consists of choosing different icons that represent the way you plan to spend your Brickyard 400 weekend then sharing it with your friends and family all over the web.
So I decided to dedicate a few moments of the work day to building my own Brickyard experience. It was hard to narrow down the things I would want to experience at the Brickyard 400; I didn’t want to miss out on anything!
I had finally chosen the icons that would be the perfect way for me to spend my Brickyard 400 weekend. I decided I would definitely go with a large group of friends, and we would camp out starting Thursday, the first day the camping lots open. Thursday is also the Hauler Parade. I’ve never been, but the pictures from last year’s Hauler Parade look like a great time that I would definitely want to be a part of!
On Friday, my friends and I would spend time in the infield, bring our own cooler and whip something up on the grill for lunch all while watching practice. (But just because I chose to grill out on my Brickyard 400 weekend doesn’t mean I’d pass up a Brickyard Burger at one of the concession stands)
Saturday at this year’s Brickyard 400 is something I would have to attend! The first annual Brickfest is taking place. An exciting day of qualifications and a great concert to end it all, how could anyone pass up Quals Day at the Brickyard 400 this year? I’d also spend some time around Gasoline Alley, and kiss the bricks if I got the chance!
Sunday is race day, and I chose the checkered flag icon because I can’t wait to see who wins! Any race at Indy is exciting and winning here has got to be a rush! After the race and once I got home, I’d continue to stay up to date with the Brickyard 400 and IMS events through Facebook, Twitter, and the IMS website, just as I already do.
That pretty much sums up my Brickyard experience. What would yours include? Build your own and share it with us and all of your friends! Don’t forget to purchase your 2011 Brickyard 400 tickets, can’t wait to see you there….except I’ll be seeing you through the windows of the media center while I’m hard at work…
Watching Martinsville today and thinking of July’s Brickyard 400? We’re just as excited for racing action here in Indy and have a deal for fans to come out and catch it!
The first 25 customers on Monday, April 4 2011, to buy a Brickyard 400 reserved seat race day ticket will receive one (1) complimentary Practice Day Ticket for Friday, July 29 2011.
Current Brickyard 400 reserved seat ticket holders also are eligible to become one of the 25 participants in this special offer if they purchase a practice or qualification day ticket for race weekend.
To qualify as one of the 25 recipients of this special benefit, purchase Brickyard 400 tickets at IMSTix.com and enter the promotional code 400Prac. Customers also can call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and and 16th Street between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m./ET on Monday.
IMS will notify by e-mail the 25 customers who receive this special benefit. We’ll see you this summer out at the Brickyard!
How many NASCAR fantasy leagues can Brickyard 400 fans play in that will allow them to receive live scoring updates along with points based on how their driver performs during the race?
NASCAR has launched the first, known as NASCAR Fantasy Live. Fans can now register for the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season, set a roster of five drivers (with a $100 salary cap) and then buy a driver low and sell them high based on how their driver performs.
The scoring system for NASCAR Fantasy Live is made to allow fans to easily understand. Drivers earn points by their finishing position, place differential from the start, pass differential, laps led and fastest laps. The scoring is broken down over five different categories. Using Jimmie Johnson as an example:
If Johnson were to win a race he would score 43 points
If he started the race in the 14th position and finished third he would earn 11 points
If he passed 18 cars under green and was passed four times he would score 14 points
If he were to lead 72 laps, his score would be divided by two and he would earn 36 points
If he ran 15 fastest laps during the race he would score 7.5 points
NASCAR Fantasy Live is free to register for all participants over 21 years old. There is a grand prize for a three day, two person trip to 2011 NASCAR Year-End Awards Banquet in Las Vegas. The three Segment winners will receive $100 for NASCAR.com’s Superstore.
Through the 2011 season Sprint Cup Series season, I will be posting updates and tips on who could be considered a favorite and a potential buy for an upcoming race in the IMS Blog. Fellow Brickyard fans can comment with their tips and recommended buys as well. All along we’ll be counting down to the 2011 Brickyard 400 race this July.
Lined up on the yard of bricks for the start of the 2010 Brickyard 400 race
Fans often list among their top reasons for joining Twitter as wanting to connect with and follow celebrities and organizations they are passionate about. Sometimes, Twitter users receive an added perk of a fun contest or cool giveaway. This was the case for followers of Denny Hamlin this past December when the #11 FedEx Toyota Camry driver declared that he was going to give away an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the United States (Read an article on the contest from SBNation here).
Fans can follow Denny on Twitter @DennyHamlin
The contest quickly caught a lot of buzz in the Twitterverse and Jennifer Meyering of Pennsylvania won by correctly answering that the sum of all the presents in the “12 Days of Christmas” is 364. So where did this self-professed Denny Hamlin fan decide to go? Disney World? No. California? No. Jennifer quickly (and excitedly) chose to bring her family to the 2011 Brickyard 400 race in Indianapolis.
When asked what led him to give away a vacation to a lucky fan on Twitter and his reaction to the winner choosing to attend the Brickyard, Denny shared that:
“Well, I prepared myself because you never know what they’re going to say. But the winner was a true race fan. That was very cool. So she decided she wanted to go to the Brickyard, which is great that she could go anywhere and she decided she wanted to go to a NASCAR race. For me that is very rewarding to see that happen. I don’t know, for me, I just have moments where I look around and think about how fortunate I am and want to give back to the people that help in these stands and watch these races and buy our souvenirs.”
Keep an eye on IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com this year as Jennifer and Denny both prepare for the July 31st running on the Brickyard 400. Below, Jennifer shares her passion for NASCAR and the reasons why she chose an all-expenses paid trip to the Brickyard.
Denny Hamlin and Mike Ford talk strategy at the 2010 Brickyard 400 (Photo by LAT)
The first NASCAR race I remember watching on TV was the 2001 Daytona 500. I’m sure this wasn’t the first race I watched, but for reasons obvious to fellow fans, it stands out in my mind. Now, I try to watch every race during the NASCAR season. My DVR gets quite a work out from February to November!
When people ask me what it is about NASCAR that I love, I can’t answer just one thing. The racing, the sound of the engines, the people- I love it all! The things that I love the most are the drivers and the personalities in the sport of racing. For me, compared to other sports, the people and drivers involved in NASCAR are some of the most “real” and fan-friendly people out there.
NASCAR drivers understand that the fans are important to their sport- without the fans, there is nothing! One of my favorite thing is following various drivers on Twitter- including Denny Hamlin. And when it comes to giving back to fans, I think Denny really gets it (of course, I may be a little biased).
On Christmas day, Denny held a Twitter contest for his fans. He asked a trivia question, and the winner would get a trip anywhere in the United States. I entered the contest never expecting to win- but I did! I was absolutely floored and in total disbelief. My son was almost more excited than I was- Denny is one of his favorite drivers (along with Joey Logano).
After I won, my husband and I immediately started discussing where we wanted to go. I knew I wanted to go to a NASCAR race. We went to the Pocono 500 last June and had a great time.
We bounced around a couple of ideas, but we wanted to really make it a special trip to remember. As soon as the thought of the Brickyard 400 crossed my mind, I knew that was where I wanted to go.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway has such an amazing racing history- I couldn’t pass up the chance to go and really experience it in person. I went to the 1995 Indy 500, but I knew nothing about racing at that time and didn’t savor the experience like I should have. I am excited to return to the IMS and truly enjoy the full experience. This July I am going to soak it ALL in!
Denny Hamlin's #11 FedEx Toyota Camry crosses the Yard of Bricks at the 2010 Brickyard 400 (photo by LAT)
Welcome to 2011. No, Splash And Go is not working on the Roman or Julian calendar. It’s just getting quite busy around here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as preparations for this season — especially the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 on May 29 — are pedal to the metal.
Everything is just as hectic in the world of INDYCAR, where good news continues to be generated at a breakneck pace. The first big change is the elimination of the old Indy Racing League name and the creation of a new logo. INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard is right — the old name conjures too much bad mojo, too many memories of the split.
So INDYCAR it shall be. You won’t see any mention of Irrelevant Racing Lingo (IRL) around here anymore. Big-time open-wheel racing in North America is INDYCAR, baby.
The dramatic buzz created by these changes and other positive developments is catching the eyes of the INDYCAR blogosphere and media. Robin Miller at SPEEDTV.com pays tribute to Bernard’s role in INDYCAR’s resurgence, while Tony Johns at Pop Off Valve talks about the vital, smart decisions Bernard has made in the last 10 months. Mike Knapp at 15 Days in May mirrors the optimism of nearly every INDYCAR fan, while Christopher Leone at Open Wheel America looks at the importance the strengthened Mazda Road To Indy ladder system will play in INDYCAR’s future.
These are Timbuk3 times for INDYCAR. (Remember the classic one-hit wonder, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades?” Yeah, they sang it.)
The good news could keep on rolling on the television front, as a proposed merger between NBC and Comcast could signal a significant change for the IZOD IndyCar Series TV package.
NASCAR also is on the verge of a major change, as NASCAR.com reported Jan. 11 that drivers will be forced to choose one of the three major series in which they want to earn championship points in 2011. This could reduce the number of Sprint Cup drivers dipping into the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, as they won’t be eligible for championships.
This proposed move is going to take some digesting, just like the big Christmas meal I enjoyed. The ramifications are huge.
Will it reduce the marquee value of the Nationwide and Truck series if fewer Cup drivers participate? How can a driver who performs regular double or triple duty, such as Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, lure or keep a sponsor for the two lower series if he’s not running for a championship? How will that effect race teams in Nationwide and Busch owned by Cup drivers?
In another change, California Speedway is reducing its spring race distance from 500 to 400 miles. Halle-freaking-lujah. Here’s to hoping other tracks follow suit. Forcing fans to sit in front of a TV for a 500-mile race is just too much in the ADD world in which we live, especially when prominent drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. even admit the middle stages of those long races are nothing but parades to cut down laps to get to the final fuel stint. Five-hundred milers should be saved for a few special places and special races.
Dustin Long remains one of the top writers on the NASCAR beat, and he came up with this interpretive gem: It seems more and more Cup teams are hiring younger drivers, but the average age of participants in the Chase for the Sprint Cup continues to rise. Age and experience always can overcome youthful exuberance, I guess.