The 100-day countdown to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 has begun and the senior vice president of events with Hulman Motorsports says the message is "we own May." Allison Melangton says the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is working to engage all 92 counties with events leading up to the milestone race. The countdown began Thursday evening at IMS with an event marking the occasion at the stroke of midnight. Hulman and Co. Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles and Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles, along with the BorgWarner Trophy, will ring the closing bell Friday afternoon at the New York Stock Exchange.
The statewide schedule also includes appearances, community activities and a program to help with at-home celebrations. Melangton says "this isn’t a race that’s just for the core, central part of Indiana, it’s something that everyone in the state should be engaged with." She says the effort has pulled together many different activities and organizations involved with the race, including the Indianapolis 500 Festival and Hall of Fame Museum.
One challenge, Melangton says, will be hanging on to the fans coming to Indy for the milestone race. "We really feel the momentum." She says call volumes have picked up compared to last year and many see this as a "bucket list" event. "It’s important to us to try to make sure they have a great time and engage them to the point where they want to come to the 101st race."
The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be May 29.
Melangton tells Inside INdiana Business there is a “thirst” to be connected to the Indy 500, especially this year.