Friday morning Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indiana Secretary Of State Connie Lawson, on behalf of Governor Mike Pence, declared February 19 as “Countdown to the 100th Indianapolis 500 Day.” The celebration took place at the statehouse as part of a day long series of events celebrating the countdown to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Festivities began last night with a countdown to midnight at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and continued this morning with the proclamations by the Mayor and Secretary Of State. Before making their proclamations both recalled memories of listening to their race as children. “The Indy 500 transcends Indiana,” said Mayor Hogsett, adding, “It’s such a wonderful tradition, decidedly Hoosier.”
Secretary Of State Lawson continued, “Every 500 my father would pull his car up to the garden spot, and turn the radio up loud. We would work in the garden and listen to the Indianapolis 500.”
Afterwards drivers Helio Castroneves, Matt Brabham, Joseph Newgarden, and Ed Carpenter took the stage to announce that they are delivering signed bottles of milk across town. The first deliveries were to Butler mascot Blue III, Mayor Joe Hogsett, and Secretary Of State Connie Lawson.
Festivities continue this afternoon at the IMS museum with a celebration of Roger Penske’s 50th anniversary in auto racing. Helio has hinted at another announcement taking place at this event. They conclude tonight with an event entitled “Pursuit Of Progress” hosted by ESPN SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak. Scheduled guests include four-time Indy 500 champion Rick Mears, Verizon IndyCar Series Driver Marco Andretti and “a full roster of guests from the wider sporting world and beyond.”