The Indy 500—"The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”—will take place on Sunday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, presented by Gainbridge. In typical Caliber Collision fashion, our teammates have researched everything you need to know about the 103rd running of the race to get you on track for one of the most exhilarating motor events of the year. So, whether you’re ready to watch the competition in person, on TV, or just plan to visit the tailgate, we’re here to keep you in the know and in the lead on all things Indy 500.
Start Your Engines: The Basics
For those of you who are new to the racing world, our Caliber team has assembled a crash course on all things Indy 500 to get you up to speed on the basics. The Indy 500 began in 1911 and has taken place every year, with the exception of both World Wars. Thirty-three drivers race around 200 laps, totaling a journey of 500 miles in Speedway, IN. The event is typically preceded by 2-3 days of festivities and countless traditions such as the Final Practice, Invocation, Green Flag Delivery and the famous “Start Your Engines” chant.
The strangest tradition isn’t what happens during the race, but after it. Upon crossing the finish line, the victor is rewarded with a large, glass bottle of milk. The ritual began in 1936 when three-time winner Louis Meyer drank buttermilk in Victory Lane after winning the Indy-500. The moment was captured in the sports section of the newspaper, and the tradition has lived on ever since (aside from a brief period between 1947-55 when milk was no longer available). Today, winners have been seen chugging the glass bottle of milk, or even pouring it over their head in celebration. No matter how this year’s racers fuel up for—or celebrate their victory in—the 500-mile quest, each one will approach the Yard of Bricks revved up and ready to roll.
Event VIPs: The 2019 Starting Grid
This year, 32 males and one female will pull up into the starting grid and fight for a first-place finish in the competition. In the pole position sits French driver Simon Pagenaud, followed by American racers Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot. The sole female driver, Pippa Mann of London, sits in the 30th spot and is looking to beat her 17th place finish from the 2017 Indy 500 race. In the 33rd spot sits 23-year-old rookie Kyle Kaiser, and his small team, who snagged a last-minute victory against former Formula One racers Fernando Alonso and Max Chilton, bumping them from the grid. With such a unique blend of racers taking their place in the lineup, this Sunday’s competition is sure to be one for the record books.
Get Revved Up: This Year’s Highlights
The 103rd Indy 500 is souped-up and on course to become one of the most attended races yet. With concert performances from Foreigner, Kool & the Gang, Zac Brown Band, Skrillex and others, in addition to parades, flyovers, autograph sessions and Miller Lite Carb Day, there is no shortage of things to do during this exciting weekend. For a full schedule of events, as well as racer information and event history, visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website.
While our team here at Caliber Collision is all fueled up for this year’s Indy 500, our real passion comes in Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life.® If you find yourself off-course and in need of assistance, remember your Caliber pitstop crew is always here to get you back on the road.