Wednesday, July 22

John Andretti hosts Kroger Race for Riley

1-7 p.m.

New Castle Motorsports Park, 5816 South County 125 West, New Castle

NASCAR driver John Andretti has been helping Kroger raise money for Riley Hospital for Children for 13 years and visited patients at the hospital earlier this week. Today, patrons who have donated $50 to Riley will race through several heats for the chance to go up against Andretti in a final race. Sponsors who have donated $250 will automatically be entered in the final heat. Go for a chance to heckle a myriad of good-hearted (however amateur) racers, and stay to see Andretti in action.

Thursday, July 23

Tony Stewart at Office Depot's Back to School Celebration

3-4 p.m.

Office Depot, 4200 S. East St.

The 400 annually draws an influx of eager race fans to the Indianapolis area, boosting the city's tourism revenue. Tony Stewart is contributing to the welfare of several local charity organizations and schools by partnering with the Office Depot Foundation to donate 5,000 backpacks for area children in need. The foundation has been helping children prepare for school since 2001 and is donating its 2 millionth this year. Stewart will present the backpacks to charity representatives at 3 p.m. and the public is invited for an autograph session beginning at 4 p.m. Wristbands are required for the autograph session and will be given to the first 350 fans on location at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

Jamie McMurray offers Safe Rides Home

corner of Jackson Place and South Meridian Street: Thursday, July 23, 8 p.m.-12 a.m.

corner of Broad Ripple Avenue and Guilford Street: Friday, July 24, 8 p.m.-12 a.m.

To help make sure driving cars at erratically high speeds is done only by the professionals on the track, Jamie McMurray will act as designated driver for city bar patrons. As a part of the five-year running Crown Royal "Safe Rides Home" designated driver program, McMurray will taxi locales (residing within a 20 mile radius) home in a replica No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion. Three additional Ford Fusions will be in rotation on both nights and marked No. 26 Crown Royal taxi stands will be collecting money for taxi fares. If you were having scruples about going bar hopping, at least now you know you can find a sober ride home. Just keep in mind that losing your stomach in the back seat of one of these Ford Fusions will probably bear harsher consequences than getting sick in your buddy's Cavalier.

Friday, July 24

Pros vs. G.I. Joes Guitar Hero Tournament

10-11 a.m.

On the Coke Zero Stage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar Series drivers Dan Wheldon and Ed Carpenter and Firestone Indy Lights drivers Pippa Mann and Martin Plowman will switch their competitive gears to participate in an XBox LIVE challenge against military servicemen and women stationed at Camp Virginia in Kuwait. In front of a live audience, the drivers will play a round of Guitar Hero Metallica versus the soldiers via Internet and large television monitors. Members of the Indiana National Guard have the opportunity to take a hiatus from their post in Iraq to rock out in the gaming contest, and afterwards will be able to communicate on Webcam with their families back home.

Healing Sixes

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

On the Coke Zero Stage at IMS

The blues rock band Healing Sixes first made a splash in the late '90s when, after a tour opening for the Jason Bonham Band, Bonham himself joined the band, recording one album, 2001's Enormosound, before heading on to other projects. Speed up to last year when another celebrity, guitarist Joe Bonamassa, made an appearance on the single "Fine Time," part of a publicity push behind the reunited group. NUVO's Rob Nichols, in a review of a February show, said the group seemed "on the verge of becoming an 'it' band all these years later."

Corey Cox

4:30-5:30 p.m.

On the Coke Zero Stage at IMS

Corey Cox, a young country singer from Pendleton, has a silky-smooth voice that evokes established Nashville stars like Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw. The Brickyard will be just one of many stops on Corey Cox's summer tour, which will cover much of the middle of Indiana, in the interest of spreading the word about an untitled soon-to-be released debut album.

Indianapolis International Film Festival: Racing Dreams

7 p.m.

Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 Michigan Road

This feature-length documentary portrays the lives of three racing adolescents and their families' journey during a year-long competition with the final goal of driving in NASCAR. The stories of Annabeth (11 years old), Josh (12) and Brandon (13) are told by Academy Award-nominated director Marshall Curry. A unique coming-of-age story, Racing Dreams combines the adrenaline of racing, the love of family and the complications of adolescence. Watching this film, viewers can easily see the characters as a young Danica Patrick or Jeff Gordon.

Saturday, July 25

Casey Jamerson

11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

On the Coke Zero Stage at IMS

In 2005, the then-15-year-old Casey Jamerson traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to record her first album. What started out as a five-song demo evolved into a 10-song disc on which Jamerson's powerful vocals sounded more like a seasoned veteran than a teenage newcomer. The album eventually picked up airplay on 97.1 FM, and helped to get her gigs at such country-friendly events like Rib Fest (not to mention a few spots singing the National Anthem at Indians games and the like). Jamerson has slowed down a bit while attending Indiana University Bloomington on a softball scholarship, but she'll pick up her acoustic guitar and strain her voice over the stock cars Saturday.

The Elms

1-2 p.m.

On the Coke Zero Stage at IMS

The other famous son(s) of Seymour, Ind., The Elms, are at the close of a long lead-up to the Sept. 15 release of their fourth album, The Great American Midrange. The recording process has been an interactive experience for fans and press alike: The band offered fans the opportunity to watch a live stream from the studio while they were laying down tracks, and press and other concerned entities got a preview of the album this summer (check out for a review by Wade Coggeshall). A hard-rock band with a somewhat conservative Middle America sound, The Elms should fit right in with the NASCAR crowd, but challenge their sensibilities a bit with a sound that owes a debt more to roots rock than mainstream country.

Megan Linville

3-3:45 p.m.

On the Coke Zero Stage at IMS

Megan Linville will be bringing her hometown-girl-gone-bad flavor of country to the Coke Zero stage Saturday. Born and bred just north of Music City itself, Linville's sound has the charm of a county fair talent show with the sparkle of the lights on the Nashville strip. By far the best boot-stomper of Linville's music is "Rich and Rowdy," an edgy anthem for Nashville's jet-set crowd.

Steve Trent and Small Town

4:30-5:30 p.m.

On the Coke Zero Stage at IMS

One highlight of these smaller-stage acts will be Steve Trent and Small Town. Central Indiana natives, they are slightly older than the mean age of Allstate 400 performers, and their experience shines through in their mature, polished sound. The band is playing behind The Long Road, their latest album, released about a year ago. A favorite track from the album has to be "She Brings Out the Bad In Me," a dance-able, fiddle-heavy song that is sure to get the Levi-wearing rumps shaking.

Sunday, July 26

Speedway Christian Church Travel Worship Service

8 a.m. -1946 Cunningham Road

8:45 a.m. - 4980 W. 16th St.

9:30 a.m. - 2105 Winton Ave.

10:30 a.m. Meadowood Park Gazebo, 5700 Meadowood Drive

Life does not stop when Speedway hosts a major racing event, and often its residents are left with the spillover costs of NASCAR races. Speedway Christian Church annually cancels three Sunday services on days of major races because heavy racefan traffic makes the church commute difficult for locals. For this year's Brickyard weekend, the Church is making worship accessible to the people through traveling, casual services. Maneuvering through traffic on Segway® Personal Transporters, two ministers from the church will lead four outdoor services at various locations. Each service will last 20 minutes, and attendees are encouraged to dress casually. Speedway Christian Church's senior minister Rev. Doug Kriz extends an invitation to out of town NASCAR fans who are looking for a "reverent, but fun" Sunday service.

Saving Abel

11 a.m.-noon

On the Coke Zero Stage at IMS

Saving Abel borrows heavily from Skynard's melancholy twang, but with the rage and bitterness of a fresh-off-a-loss and moments away from the 'roid-raging bar fight of his life. Lead singer Jared Weeks is more vocally adept than Nickelback's Chad Kroeger (for whom Saving Abel is currently playing tour support). The band's tight, crunchy songs cover topics ranging from new tattoos, the effervescence of new love and the eye-poking pain of realizing that your dumped girlfriend is officially o-v-e-r over you. Still, Saving Abel's music is much more evolved than their rage-rock peers' and less clichéd than the similar Hinder and Papa Roach. One hopes that they will further explore the hard-edged country sound that, for now, is only an undercurrent of their self-titled record. As crowded as the whole rage-rock scene already is, Saving Abel might be able to strike some balance between rock and country and find a following all their own, like a more crunchy, fury-driven version of Kings of Leon. Still, the band has stumbled upon a rather unique corner of this Creed-esque rock, perhaps owing to their Mississippi roots.


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