Hundreds of Indy 500 diehards gathered at the track on Feb 18th to ring in the New Year — sort of. The celebration, counting down 100 days until the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 officially began with a countdown to midnight on the yard of bricks.
Fans started rolling in around 9 p.m., and were joined by Hulman CEO Mark Miles, IMS President Doug Boles as well as drivers Charlie Kimball, Connor Daly, Spencer Pigot, and Matthew Brabham. Long time open wheel fans will recognize the Brabham name as Matthew is the son of 10 time Indy 500 driver Geoff Brabham, and grandson of three time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham (also the first driver to drive a rear engine car in the Indianapolis 500).
Officials also unveiled the ticket for the race. For the first time in race history, some ticket will be made of hard plastic — and partially transparent. The IMS is selling these limited-supply tickets first..
In the hours leading up to the official countdown, Doug Boles brought the drivers to the stage for some questions. Brabham spoke on the feeling of walking into IMS: “You walk in here and get that eerie feeling and your hair raises up on the back of your neck." Daly brought laughter to the audience saying it would “be cool to win the race, then maybe I could have a car, and a house.” (He also mentioned that he'd like to hit the snake pit stage and remind people that there was a race going on in addition to the DJs.)
The night capped off with a countdown to midnight.