The American Legion will partner with the United States Auto Club and Indianapolis Raceway Park to honor America’s past, present and future veterans during IRP’s 60th Annual Coca-Cola Night Before the Indianapolis 500.
On May 28, Legionnaires will have the opportunity to attend the USAC Midget Series race at IRP for $5 off the normal rate. An average of 75 coupons were sent to every Legion post in the Department of Indiana, as well as to surrounding departments.
National Commander Thomas P. Cadmus and Department of Indiana Commander Bill Firkins will serve as honorary grand marshals, with two current service members and two military recruits.
“We wanted to give Legion members and their families something to do that wouldn’t cost them a lot of money,” said Steve Farmer, USAC’s national director of marketing and sales. “This also will give a lot of people the opportunity to experience our type of racing, which they may not be familiar with. They may be interested in other forms of racing, but they may never have seen a USAC event.”
The event also will give the racing community a chance to honor veterans.
“We’re always very excited to be able to pay tribute to our people serving or who have served our country,” said IRP Communications Manager Scott Smith. “To be able to do something like this really means a lot to us. And this really is a great way for people to see 15- and 16-year-old future motor-sports stars progressing up through the ranks. It’s the beginning of many of their careers.”
Racing Honors Vets 2-2-2-2-2
The event will include heat and qualifying races and a 50-lap main feature. “I was very excited when Steve talked to me about using our facility to host a ceremony honoring people serving our country past, present and future,” said IRP Marketing Services Manager Emiley Matherly. “I thought it only fitting that we be gracious enough to host the event.”
During the day, IRP General Manager Ron Anderson will be presented with a Sons of The American Legion membership. Anderson’s father, a veteran, passed away earlier this year, and The American Legion provided funeral honors. Anderson also will be presented with an encased U.S. Flag. Nearly 100 American Legion Riders also will perform a special ceremony honoring U.S. POWs and MIAs.
“That has a very special meaning to me and every other Legionnaires,” said Farmer, a Vietnam War veteran and member of Post 145 in Avon, Indiana. “Legionnaires have been completely selfless in getting our fighting men and women home.”
Avon Post #145 will staff a membership tent during the day for the entire Legion family.
Gates open at 3 p.m. Ticket prices are $25 for reserved seats and $20 for general admission. Kids ages 12 and younger are admitted free for general-admission seating.
For tickets or more information, call (317) 291-4090 or go online to www.irponline.com.
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