Special “Garage 34” Provision Allows Entry In Third Annual “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today announced that a pair of the most famous names in NASCAR history will partner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Brickyard Invitational, June 16-19. Bill Elliott and Ray Evernham will co-drive as a special “Garage 34” entry in the feature event of the weekend, the “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am. Elliott drove for Evernham when he dominated the Brickyard 400 in 2002.
“Bill Elliott won NASCAR’s popular driver award more than anyone – 16 times,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “We just felt we had to take a promoter’s option on this one and get these guys in our feature event of the weekend. We’re borrowing an idea from Le Mans’ Garage 56 for special entries to bring Bill and Ray into a field with Indy 500 veterans. Given Bill’s tremendous popularity we think fans will love it.”
The Pro-Am feature is a 40-minute race of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course on Saturday, June 18. The cars are 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of the “Group 6” SVRA class. In addition to Elliott and Evernham, SVRA officials hope to attract 33 Indianapolis 500 veterans. The Unser cousins, Al Jr., Robby and Johnny were the first entries last week and numerous others will be announced in the coming weeks. As in the previous two years, the professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, splitting stints at the wheel at their discretion. In this case Evernham, who earned his numerous accolades as a crew chief, will be the amateur driver.
Elliott, the 1988 NASCAR Cup champion, is one of the most accomplished drivers in American auto racing. He scored 44 race wins at NASCAR’s highest level including the 1985 and 1987 Daytona 500s. While he was previously well established as a top driver on the NASCAR scene, it was in 1985 when he won the “Winston Million” for victories in three of the series’ marquee races: the Daytona 500, the Southern 500 and the Winston 500 that he broke through to superstar status. His million-dollar bonus for the achievement earned him the nickname, “Million Dollar Bill.” Elliott has been inducted into both the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Bill’s son Chase is currently a Sprint Cup series driver for arguably the most powerful team in the sport, Hendrick Motorsports.
Ray Evernham is best known for his work with NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon and the “Rainbow Warriors” of Hendrick Motorsports. Together they formed one of the most dominant teams in NASCAR history, winning 47 Cup races and three championships in 1995, 1997 and 1998. Among those victories were two Brickyard 400s as well as two Daytona 500s. Evernham came into notice among the ranks of big-time auto racing when in 1983 he signed on as a chassis specialist preparing cars for the IROC series. Champion drivers gave him high marks for translating their input. Evernham formed his own team after parting ways with Gordon and Hendrick in 1999. Among his top drivers was Elliott who closed his full-time driving career with the team after winning several races. Since moving away from active team management Evernham has maintained a consulting role with Hendrick and served as an analyst for racing television coverage. He currently hosts his own show for the Velocity channel, “AmeriCarna.” The show is a car culture series focusing on the discovery and restoration of unique automobiles and especially racecars.
While the Pro-Am Elliott and Evernham will compete in is the crowning event of the Brickyard Invitational, there is also a festival of other activities. As in previous years the SVRA will present exhibition runs on the storied 2.5-mile oval by a wide variety of cars including several of the crowd-favorite 1950’s Indianapolis 500 “roadsters.” The 2016 weekend not only promises a huge gathering of race cars but also some of the finest collector cars. Motostalgia, with offices in Austin, Texas, Mexico City and Monaco will stage an auction of select automobiles from around the world. The Brickyard Invitational will also expand out onto the world-famous infield IMS golf course with car corrals for organizations and clubs united by special marques and vintages as well as its “Shine and Show” car show. Saturday evening entertainment will include a concert by the legendary rock band, “Three Dog Night,” capped off by a trademark SVRA mega-fireworks show.
The SVRA has 11 groups of racecars spanning 100 years of vintage machines. The array of entries at IMS will include select pre-war machines, classic sports cars, Formula One and Le Mans prototypes as current as 2011. Race fans can enjoy every minute of the action with overnight camping inside IMS. Pro-Am cars and drivers will also participate in a Fan Walk through the starting grid prior to the opening ceremonies allowing spectators to see the cars up close, take photos and chat with the drivers. All entry fees will be donated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Foundation.
Brickyard Invitational ticket information: Fans can order Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational tickets for all or any one of the four days of the event online through the Speedway or by calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Fans can also visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at 4790 West 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information. Children 12 and under are admitted free each day when accompanied by an adult. Tent camping passes in the IMS infield start at $30 and are available all four days.