Drivers participating in the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge gathered Saturday morning for the first “500” public drivers’ meeting since 2019.
Taking place on pit road with the Borg-Warner Trophy, 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 70th Anniversary Pace Car and a large gathering of fans in the Tower Terrace grandstands accompanying the field of 33 drivers, competitors received final instructions for Sunday’s race and Indianapolis 500 starters’ rings by Jostens.
The 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge is scheduled to start at 12:45 p.m. (ET) Sunday. The race will be broadcast live on NBC, Telemundo Deportes on Universo and the INDYCAR Radio Network, with pre-race shows beginning at 11 a.m.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles opened the meeting by thanking fans for returning after the pandemic prevented them from attending the drivers’ meeting the last two years and with Sunday’s crowd expected to be one of the biggest in the history of the event.
Helio Castroneves, who claimed his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory last year, joining A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears in the four-time winners club, was introduced and said he’ll do everything he can to create a new club with a fifth win this year.
“It would be awesome,” Castroneves said about a potential history-making fifth Indy 500 victory. “Something that no one on the planet was able to do.”
Nizar Trigui, chief technology officer and group president of solutions businesses for Bridgestone Americas, later took to the stage, reconfirming Firestone’s commitment to sustainability in INDYCAR and referenced Firestone will be celebrating its 73rd driver winning on Firestone tires this year.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Director Kyle Novak followed with final Race Day instructions for the drivers and left them with some advice.
“Race hard,” he said. “Race the way you want to be raced. Take a moment to look around you. You’re surrounded by the best drivers in the world.”
To conclude the meeting, Curt Bruns, vice president of the motorsports division at Jostens, presented this year’s record-setting polesitter Scott Dixon with a special Jostens ring.
“This place owes me nothing,” said Dixon, who won the “500” in 2008. “But I’ll be knocking on the door.”