Most of the field of Verizon IndyCar Series drivers who will compete in the Angie’s List Grand Prix on May 14 and the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 29 swapped their firesuits for party clothes Saturday to kick off the month of May at the city’s biggest racing bash, Rev.
In its third year, Rev drew a stylish crowd of 3,000 to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to walk the red carpet, snap photos with drivers, party in Pagoda Plaza and dance on the yard of bricks while waving glow sticks. More than 60 restaurants offered tastes of driver-inspired cuisine. Thirteen bands and DJs entertained.
CLICK IT: Rev Indy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photo Gallery
Meanwhile, drivers mingled with fans and VIP party-goers that included Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and long snapper Matt Overton, plus Rev co-chairs Gary Brackett, the former Super Bowl champion Colt, and Indianapolis civic leader Julie Davis.
The attending drivers visited restaurant booths to test the cuisine inspired by them. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Mikhail Aleshin also hopped on stage to play lead guitar for two songs with one of the event’s bands. Watch his performance here.
Aleshin’s teammate, Rev honorary chair James Hinchcliffe, ended the evening dancing on the track with hundreds, including Ed Carpenter Racing driver Josef Newgarden and Rev event director Carol Howard.
Funds raised from the sold-out event support Indiana University Health statewide trauma programs, including medical services for drivers and patrons at the IU Health Emergency Medical Center at IMS.
“Another year and another incredible Rev event! Carol and her team, everyone at IU Health and everyone at IMS pulled off such a great night,” said Hinchcliffe. “I can’t thank all of them – all the local businesses and restaurants and everyone who came out and supported – enough for making Rev the must-attend event of May and maybe even the year. It was a privilege to be part of it all. Hopefully, I’ll be invited back next year!”
INDYCAR issues statement on potential non-points race in China
Amid media reports that INDYCAR is considering a non-championship race in China later this year, Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, issued the following statement today:
“For many months, INDYCAR has participated in discussions regarding a non-championship event in the Fengtai District of Beijing, China. If scheduled, this race would occur in October following the conclusion of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. At this point, arrangements for this event have not been finalized and a number of important issues must be resolved before such an event can be added to the schedule. INDYCAR is pleased with the amount of interest in China and the substantial effort that has been made to try and make this proposed event a reality. We would hope to share any news on whether this event will occur by early June.”
Hinchcliffe donating ALGPI winnings to Canadian wildfire relief
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe, a native Canadian, has pledged to donate his winnings from the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14 to the Canadian Red Cross to assist displaced families displaced by the wildfire near Fort McMurray, Alberta.
"It is heartbreaking to see so many people who have lost their homes," Hinchcliffe said on his personal website Hinchtown.com. "The Canadian Red Cross has been doing a tremendous job. We just pray that the weather will co-operate and any further damage can be contained. In the meantime I want to offer support for those affected."
To donate to the effort, click here.
Stefan Wilson adds solar advocacy partner
Stefan Wilson announced a solar advocacy partnership with Inovateus Solar, a leading Midwest solar developer, contractor and supplier, in support of his entry into the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. The 26-year-old will be competing for the first time in the event in the No. 25 Driven2SaveLives-KVRT Chevrolet.
For the past several months, Inovateus has advised Wilson on his #ThinkSolar initiative to spread awareness about the proliferation of solar power throughout the world. As part of its solar advocacy support, Inovateus will offset the carbon footprint of Wilson’s Indy 500 campaign through donations of solar lights to African families via LetsThinkSolar.com and SolarAid.
“We’ve really found a kindred spirit in Stefan in racing and renewables,” said TJ Kanczuzewski, president of Inovateus Solar. “We couldn't pass on an opportunity to support him. Stefan’s passion for solar inspires his Indy race fans as well as the Inovateus team, and we wish him the best of luck in this year’s race."
Wilson’s Driven2SaveLives program is run in conjunction with the Indiana Donor Network’s initiative to promote organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation. It was inspired by Stefan’s older brother, Justin, who died from injuries suffered in an August 2015 crash but not before his organ donation saved five lives.
Commemorative Justin Wilson socks raise funds for worthy cause
Verizon IndyCar Series fans can now commemorate Justin Wilson while also raising funds for a cause very important to him. USWAG, a performance athletic sock company founded by the late driver and Michael Waddell, has released the custom Justin Wilson-inspired sock design, with a majority of the proceeds going to the Dyslexic Institute of Indiana (Dii).
Wilson, who worked hard to support dyslexia awareness and encourage early diagnosis, was a spokesperson for the Indianapolis-based Dii. Wilson and his message that "Dyslexia Doesn't Stop Me" was carried across a range of media and advertising campaigns featuring the fan-friendly driver.
"Dii was very important to Justin and he wanted to help get the message out there to everyone," said Wilson’s widow, Julia. "He loved working with the kids, telling them to follow their dreams and to never give up. Making a Justin Wilson sock is a great way to continue his legacy to make people aware Dyslexia is out there. The proceeds go to help the Dii. It's a pretty cool-looking sock and I can't wait to see people wearing them."
In addition to the Wilson design, USWAG has teamed to make custom sock designs for fans of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Ed Carpenter Racing, Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe, Conor Daly and Marco Andretti, as well as socks with the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor speedway wing-and-wheel logos. The socks are available at IMS gift shops and at shop.ims.com.
Kanaan pulls double duty with Mini-Marathon and Rev
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams driver Tony Kanaan (in left photo) started and finished his day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, but neither time was in a race car.
The 2013 Indianapolis 500 champion ran the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, which includes a lap of the hallowed 2.5-mile oval on its 13.1-mile journey, in the morning. A noted triathlete, Kanaan finished the event in 1 hour, 43 minutes, 29 seconds – an impressive per-mile pace of 7 minutes, 53 seconds.
The 41-year-old Brazilian returned to IMS in more formal attire in the evening to attend Rev with his wife, Lauren.