Dan Wheldon'sVictory Lane celebration at 2011 Indy 500 - Indianapolis MOtor Speedway photo Enlarge Photo
Racing fans have an extra special month of May ahead of them as two of the most enduring sporting events combine to offer special ticket packages for the first time in their long, respective histories.
Yes, the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday May 5 and the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27--occurring less than a month and little more than 125 miles apart from one another--can be enjoyed with special Horsepower vs Horsepower ticket packages.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Churchill Downs are working together to offer these exceptional deals for fans of four-legged and four-wheeled horsepower.
The Kentucky Derby specials include admittance to Friday's Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies; Indy 500 specials allow fans to take part in Miller Lite Carb Day, featuring the final IZOD IndyCar practice, Firestone Freedom 100 Firestone Indy Lights race, Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and a concert featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd.
There are two Horsepower vs Horsepower packages available:
The Party Pack features general admission tickets to the Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky Derby the first weekend of May, together with Miller Lite Carb Day and the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend. This package also gives access to the Snake Pit on race day at Indy where there will be front-row access to a national known DJ/producer's performance on the Snake Pit stage, as well as watching the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert from a specially designated area near the front of the stage on Carb Day. Party Pack tickets are $115/person.
The upscale Club Pack offers reserved grandstand bleacher seating on the first floor at Churchill Downs for both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, including a lunch buffet in the Infield Club. Ticket holders receive admission to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Brickyard Club, reserved grandstand seats for the Indianapolis 500 and access to a fully catered premium food buffet and complimentary bar, all for the sum of $995 per person.
The limited Club Pack is available-while supplies last--through Sunday, April 15. Party Pack tickets can be purchase through Thursday, May 3 and both are available at www.imstix.com or www. churchilldowns.com.
While this is the first cross-promotion between these two venues, they've got interesting ties: Ray Harroun, winner of the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911, was victorious in four of the nine automobile races conducted July 8, 1910 at Churchill Downs. 1912 Indy 500 winner Joe Dawson finished second to Harroun in three of the races that July day.
Surprisingly, only one person has owned a horse in the Kentucky Derby and a car in the Indianapolis 500. Reclusive oil millionaire Howard Keck made history by winning both races: Bill Vukovich drove Keck's No. 14 Fuel Injection Special to consecutive Indy 500 wins in 1953 and 1954; Bill Shoemaker rode Ferdinand, owned by Keck in his wife's name to victory in the 1986 Kentucky Derby.