The countdown to the 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge reached a traditional mile-marker Saturday morning with the public drivers’ meeting at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Taking place on pit road with the Borg-Warner Trophy, the hardtop convertible Chevrolet Corvette Z06 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.
SEE: Starting Lineup
The 107th 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, Peacock, Universo and the INDYCAR Radio Network, with pre-race shows beginning at 11 a.m. Peacock also will stream a preview show from 9-11 a.m., with the INDYCAR Radio Network’s preview broadcast starting at 10 a.m.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles opened the meeting by greeting and thanking the fans, as the largest crowd since the 100th anniversary of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 2016 is expected to flock Sunday to IMS. INDYCAR President Jay Frye also spoke to the sun-splashed crowd in Tower Terrace.
Host Allen Bestwick conducted interviews with selected drivers in the starting field, including reigning series champion and 2018 “500” winner Will Power of Team Penske, Romain Grosjean of Andretti Autosport, fastest rookie qualifier Benjamin Pedersen of AJ Foyt Racing, 2013 “500” winner Tony Kanaan of Arrow McLaren and pole sitter Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing.
The crowd gave a standing ovation to Kanaan, who is making his 22nd and final Indy 500 start Sunday in also his final NTT INDYCAR SERIES race.
Firestone, the exclusive tire of the Indianapolis 500 and NTT INDYCAR SERIES, was saluted for its commitment to the race and series and for its $20,000 total donation to the Indiana Latino Expo, Indiana Black Expo and Indy Pride.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Director Kyle Novak followed with final Race Day instructions.
To conclude the meeting, Curt Bruns, vice president of the motorsports division at Jostens, presented special a special Jostens’ ring to both pole sitter Palou and honorary Pace Car driver Tyrese Haliburton, an all-NBA guard for the Indiana Pacers.