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500 Festival Kicks Off

(Indianapolis) - The 500 Festival Board of Directors met Tuesday morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a special event.

They received the keys to the event cars they'll drive through the month of May as part of the 500 Festival celebration.

Each of the 33 Chevrolet SSR vehicles were assigned to members of the board.

All members, including Chairman Scott Blumenthal, vice president for WISH-TV parent company LIN Television, took the cars for a spin around the track.

“"Today, when we pick up the cars is really the kick-off for all the activities that the 500 Festival board has been involved with. Although we've been working the whole year, this is really the start of all the activities we'll have,” said Blumenthal.

Also on Tuesday, the pace car was revealed. The IMS announced that the former Secretary of State Colin Powell will be driving the pace car this year.

“I think it's a little bit different than the celebrities we've traditionally had. Here's a gentleman who's devoted his life to public service and has been very out there in terms of representing this country. In terms of Memorial Day, honoring those who have lost their lives for our country, what a more perfect person than Colin Powell to be here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend driving the pace car at the greatest spectacle in racing,” Joie Chitwood of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
 

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