Posts Tagged ‘ Indianapolis 500 ’

The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 has been touted at The Most Important Race in History. Okay, okay, marketing pitches aside – everyone is upping their game to create the very best fan experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this month.

Enter Verizon. Specifically, Verizon with an extensive, interactive QR code experience placed at locations all around the Speedway and guiding fans through exclusive content for the Indianapolis 500. But here’s the big question that fans have got to be asking: why bother checking this out?

This blog post is all about taking a step back and sharing what a QR code is, what application you’ll need on your mobile device to access a code, and an explanation of what “lives behind” the code itself. Think about exciting videos, driver commentary, track history, crew interviews, special information and offers… just like anything incredibly special and worth seeing, it’s always more fun when you know that others don’t have the same opportunity as you to see it. You’ve made it to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 100th Anniversary Race. You’ve managed to scrape together your pennies and  own a pretty decent Verizon mobile phone (Warning: will not work on Zack Morris-style cellular devices). Consider the Verizon QR Code Experience your reward this May.

What Is A QR Code? According to the top Digital Media resource Mashable, a QR code (short for Quick Response) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

What Do I Need to Do to Access a QR Code? To access the Verizon QR Code Experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you’ll need a Verizon Mobile Device. You’ll also need an application on your mobile device that will read QR Codes. And I’ve been there — the hesitation, the lack of interest in seeking out a scanner, downloading it, and figuring out how to use it. But- I’ve also gone through it and can assure you that the process is painstakingly simple and only takes a few minutes. I can also share that it’s worth your while to download a QR Code application prior to heading out to the track (it can be harder to view your phone’s screen outdoors, especially when sunny and, as we all know, every day in May is a perfect 80 degrees, clear skies and sunshine). Once you have it downloaded, you open the application and, similar to taking a picture, scan the image. Once you’ve obtained a QR code reader, go ahead and try this one.

How does it work? Picture a package sent in the mail with a barcode sticker slapped on the outside of the box and scanned in at each facility so that you can track its delivery online. In theory, it’s a similar concept — scan the QR code and useful information is delivered.

Where Do I Get Started? Visit Verizon in the INDYCAR Fan Village and find out more about accessing QR code content or look for specific QR code signage around the IMS campus.

What’s In It For Me? Verizon’s calling it Scan. Watch. Win. Every code you scan is another opportunity to win great INDYCAR prizes, including a trip to the IZOD IndyCar World Championships.

So get started now by browsing through a smartphone applications marketplace and downloading a QR code reader to your mobile device. Come prepared to see more of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway than even some of the other fans around you — it’s going to be an incredibly special experience and a unique way to commemorate the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500.

Still mildly confused? Shoot us a Tweet @INDYCAR and we’ll make sure you’re good to go.

Know everything there is to know about racing? Run a website dedicated to motorsports? Think you could race head-to-head with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and survive to share the story with your fans? Here’s your chance:

Journalists know that sometimes to get the story you have to be part of it. Tell us why you deserve the chance to compete against nine of your fellow motorsports writers in a virtual Indy 500 race on Carb Day – May 27th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The winner of the Carb Day race will receive the opportunity to compete in the A.J. Foyt Day Shootout on Saturday, May 28th against up to 3 Indy 500 drivers.

We’ve lined up some great swag for participants and winners of the event including an enhanced Indy 500 Race Day experience. Plus, we’ll work with the top ten motorsports writers to identify promotional opportunities online to support your coverage of the month of May. Want your chance to jump in the driver’s seat? Find out how below.

Not  a motorsports writer and/or unable to be in the Indianapolis-area this May? Keep an eye out on the IndyCar.com blog to learn how you’ll decide which motorsports writers will represent fans best at this year’s Virtual Indy 500!

Requirements:

  • Shoot a DM to @INDYCAR on Twitter (or leave a comment on this post) telling us why you should rep for motorsports writers at this year’s Indianapolis 500. We’ll hit you back with details on how to “officially” stake your claim.
  • Be available and in Indianapolis for Carb Day (Friday – May 27th) and A.J. Foyt Day (Saturday – May 28th).
  • Register on iRacing.com when requested.

What is the Virtual Indy 500?

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and iRacing.com have partnered up to conduct a worldwide competition celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.  The race will be held in 3 parts: online qualifier, local contesting, and the Virtual Indy 500 Event. The online qualifier series will consist of a 2 week long online time-trial qualification on iRacing.com. All current iRacing members are invited to participate.  Non-iRacing members are encouraged to “Race it before you watch it” and join with a discounted special offering.

Find out more information on the event, discover what prizes are in store for participants /winners, and catch video highlights from last year on IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com.

Here we go, this week in INDYCAR and we’re off to the races (well, almost). Starting with the BIG, no HUGE, announcement that Las Vegas Motor Speedway will play host to the races that will crown the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Lights champions– the IZOD IndyCar World Championship. INDYCAR will even up the ante of the IZOD IndyCar Series race by welcoming challengers to a high-stakes shootout on the high-banked oval. Read more about the $5 Million Challenge, which driver do you hope to see bid for their chance to win the IZOD IndyCar World Championship this year?

A better view of the strip.

IZOD IndyCar Series drivers prepared to take on Vegas

For fans, the announcements get even better. Purchase a ticket to any IZOD IndyCar Series race this season and you’re eligible to redeem a ticket to the season finale. Full details will be announced March 1 on IndyCar.com. “This is a time when INDYCAR can tell our fans that we thank them for their support,” said Randy Bernard earlier this week (read more about the ticket offer here). All that remains to be asked is, who’s up for a Vegas Vacation this fall?

IndyCar fans in Milwaukee got a treat on Saturday when driver, Justin Wilson, made an appearance along with the Milwaukee Bucks at the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show and then later in the day joined the NBA franchise for their game against the Chicago Bulls. The appearance is part of a series of other planned community appearances counting down the 110 days remaining until the 2011 Milwaukee Mile.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that fans ages 9-17 will be able to visit the Gasoline Alley garage area this May 14-28 with the purchase of a Junior Garage Credential. Can’t wait for the Indianapolis 500 in May? Check out TheGreatest33.com in the meantime where fans can sign up for early admission to the interactive (i.e. very cool) Indianapolis 500 website. This year’s race will also feature a noon ET start time (read about it). This week, Sam Schmidt Motorsports announced that  Jay Howard will join them in an attempt to qualify for the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500. Read more here about Howard’s first attempts to qualify for the Indy 500 in 2010 and what his goals are for the 2011 running. Are you making plans to be at this year’s race too?

Gasoline Alley

Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Fans on Twitter may have caught this week’s big announcement that this spring’s the May Indy Tweetup will present the #BeatCancer Bash in support of Racing for Cancer. New to the May Indy Tweetup? Find out what two IndyCar fans with a seemingly endless phone battery life (it’s not easy to tweet as often as you eat) and a huge passion for racing launched in 2010 and have planned for 2011.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, an ambassador for Racing for Cancer, lent his support this past week for a cross-country bike ride to raise funds and awareness for cancer. Read more about the driver’s efforts here. It’s always cool to keep tabs on what drivers are doing outside of the track, but, speaking of racing…

We’re a month away from St. Pete (a month? No, no, 25 days to be precise) and plans are underway for the party (read more here). And the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach announced this week at on April 16, a star-studded field will race over 10 laps on the Long Beach street circuit in identically prepared, race-ready Scion tCs. Get a look at the celeb line-up here.

Scenic

The overhead view of the temporary street circuit in St. Petersburg for the 2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete.

But first comes testing (Testing? What? Why? Read more here). It’s close, oh so close and we’re ready to watch. Team Penske’s Will Power, Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves, along with KV Racing Technology-Lotus drivers E.J. Viso and Takuma Sato, will join Chip Ganassi’s Charlie Kimball and Vitor Meira for testing on March 1 (as in, only 2 more days). Other drivers will be testing March 9-10 at Sebring International Raceway. All leading up to the March 14-15 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park. Which driver will you have your eyes on during testing?

As we get started on 2011, a lot of things have happened over the last 12 months at JLF Designs. The helmet painting industry has been moving at an amazing pace and lots of new styles have emerged and even though I’ve been painting for 20 years, I have enjoyed my work more than ever thanks to some great projects with drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Dan Wheldon and E.J. Viso who always brings us designs that are a challenge – and I love a challenge!

Back of E.J. Viso's Helmet

One of Viso's many designs

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Our last Flickr post of 2010

Posted on: December 12, 2010 | Comments (0) | Flickr | By: Daniel

Last Sunday, I wrote a post asking you to vote on some our best images from 2010. I picked only 5 out of 3,000+. It wasn’t easy and I tried to pick them based on what you and Flickr were telling me – most viewed, commented, favorited, and so on. There were some really good shots covering the season.

You voted and overwhelmingly chose the picture from the 33 Winning Indy 500 car shoot (it got 47% of the votes). If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is a picture of 33 winning Indy 500 cars going to say? There are a lot of stories in this image.

It also serves as a reminder that the 2011 Indianapolis 500 will be here before you know it.  I’m sure you know it’s the 100th anniversary. I know I’m excited. So thank you for voting, and here’s your pic/pick.

The line up

The winner is...

Flickr was a new online tool for us in 2010 and we talked a lot about it. As of today, we’ve uploaded 3,190 images. And you’ve given us 1,289,024 views. That’s pretty amazing.

We plan on using it even more in 2011, bringing you closer to pit lane throughout the season and revealing more behind-the-scenes action from all of our events.

As we solidify our 2011 plans, what are some things you would like to see on Flickr?

Where would you like to see more coverage?

What types of photos do you want to see?

We’re listening, after all, you’re viewing.

Flickr and most views

Posted on: October 24, 2010 | Comments(4) | 2012 Chassis Designs, Flickr | By: Daniel

The Flickr blog series continues again this week, this time revealing our most viewed images from 2010. Unlike last week where I wrote about Interestingness, the ‘most viewed’ statistic is easy to understand, simple to measure. It’s what our online community looked at the most.

So let’s start randomly – our 99th most viewed image so far this year?

2012 Fan Design by Phil Frank - overhead view

A Phil Frank Design #99

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Flickr and Interestingness

Posted on: October 17, 2010 | Comments(6) | Flickr | By: Daniel

Last week I wrote about Flickr in 2010 and mentioned that Flickr measures the popularity of images in a number of ways. One of these is called ‘Interesting’ and it’s a tough one to figure out because it’s not defined – it’s kind of a secret. When it comes down to it, it ranks our images based on how interesting they are – which is confusingly fascinating.  This blog post kind of helped explain it. Kind of. Here’s what we have for you.

Exhale

Our 99th most interesting image on Flickr

Regardless of the confusion here, I’m sharing some of our most ‘Interesting’ images with you.

What is number 1?

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Photo Shoot: 33 Indy 500 Winning Cars

Posted on: October 12, 2010 | Comments(38) | Indy 500 | By: Arni

Ellen Bireley had no choice but to make Oct. 12 a free admission day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. That’s because 27 of the Indianapolis 500-winning cars usually found in the museum were being used for a unique photo opportunity on IMS’ front straightaway.

Sitting front and center

Dario Franchitti's #10 Front and Center

“It’s probably been our biggest undertaking,” said Bireley, who has served as the Hall of Fame Museum’s director since 1996. “We’ve never emptied out the museum to my knowledge.”

The photo, which commemorates next May’s 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, featured 33 winning cars of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” (OK, there were 32 winning cars, because Mario Andretti’s 1969 winner is in the Smithsonian Institution, but the replica was the next best thing).

Set up in the morning...

Setting up the grid at IMS

“It’s pretty amazing to have this many iconic cars here,” said track historian Donald Davidson. “We have 33 cars here and every one of them has won the race at least once. I think it represents 37 victories because there have been four cars to win the 500 in consecutive years and they are all here today.  I could probably do 30 minutes on just one car here and we have 33 of them.”
Davidson and Bireley helped select the field of cars used and helped bring in the six cars from private collections. From there, they invited 16 qualified people, ranging from Hall of Fame Museum staff to veteran Indy Car mechanics, to move the cars from the museum to the track side garages used by Firestone Indy Lights and MotoGP teams during race weekend.

Then, in the early morning hours, the group pushed the cars into the traditional 11 rows of three.
The front row consisted of the 1911-winning Marmon Wasp, Dario Franchitti’s 2010-winning Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda-powered Dallara and A.J. Foyt’s 1961-winning Bowes Seal Fast roadster, but iconic cars from the race’s first 99 years were spread throughout.

Early morning shot of the "front row"

Front Row: Ray Harroun, Dario Franchitti, A.J. Foyt

Cars driven by iconic names of the’ 500’ such as Unser (Al, Bobby and Al Jr.), Andretti, Mears, Meyer, Shaw, Rutherford and Jones were all included.
“They had to convince me (to do this),” Bireley said. “When they first said they wanted to do this product, I said no, but this was a really neat idea and after multiple conversations, we decided to do it and it was worth it.”

The line up

33 Indy 500 Winning Cars

“To see the cars in natural light, the colors really pop. When the cars are inside in the museum, the indoor lighting just doesn’t do them justice. They look spectacular out here.”

Flickr in 2010

Posted on: October 10, 2010 | Comments(4) | Drivers, Flickr, Indy 500, Race Tracks | By: Daniel

You may have noticed we utilized Flickr this season. We used it as a way of reaching a new community and to bring a new perspective to our sport, through imagery. We featured all of the races from the 2010 season, a few Race to the Party’s, the 2012 announcement, the 2012 fan-designed chassis, and much, much more.

Ana Beatriz + Carnival Queen

Image #1 on Flickr - Ana Beatriz

To date, we’ve uploaded 2,876 images – in one season – with over a million views from fans.

Flickr measures the popularity of images in four ways – Interesting, Views, Favorites and Comments. More on that later.

For this post, I wanted to look back on share some of my favorite images from Flickr in 2010 and reveal some of the amazing shots our photographers captured. In the next few weeks, I’ll be revealing the most popular images, according to Flickr. Sit tight.

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What are your off-season plans?

Posted on: October 5, 2010 | Comments(33) | Fans | By: Daniel

What do you do in the off-season? Do you watch re-runs of all the 2010 races? Start planning for the 2011 season? Work on your Fantasy Racing team? We want to know.

Chip Ganassi and team

The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Champions

It’s only been a few days since Dario Franchitti won the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship…but I’ve already noticed some interesting online withdrawal. @IndyCarNation follower @NDcarTwit tweeted: “Think everyone should take a month off, and then let’s go again! Can’t wait till next Spring for more IndyCar racing!”

On our Facebook page, Wendy Gilbert wrote, “I’m in withdrawal already. Can’t wait until March 27th!” And another Facebook IndyCar fan – Leoth Wade, said” I’m ready now for the 2011 Indy 500. I can’t wait for it. Thanks to IZOD for making 2010 a great season.”

You really like your IndyCar racing.

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