Today’s Indianapolis 500 Pre-Race Ceremonies Features Pageantry, Tradition

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 28, 2021) – The pre-race ceremonies for the 105th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge will feature all of the tradition and pageantry beloved by fans Sunday, May 30 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

A look at the various ceremonial roles:

  • “God Bless America” – U.S. Navy veteran and gospel music performer Generald Wilson will sing this tribute to America.
  • “Drivers to your cars” – The five members of social media sensation Dude Perfect will give the traditional command for all 33 drivers to report to their cars.
  • “Back Home Again in Indiana” – Chicago Blackhawks national anthem singer Jim Cornelison returns for the fifth consecutive year to sing this Hoosier favorite.
  • Flyover – U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets from the 187th Fighter Wing, assigned to Dannelly Field, Alabama, will fly over IMS during the national anthem and after “Back Home Again in Indiana.” The aircraft will match the tribute livery on the No. 47 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet driven by Conor Daly, which pays tribute to the fabled Tuskegee Airmen, the first Black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II.
  • Command To Start Engines – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chairman Roger Penske will say the most famous words in motorsports.

In previously announced roles, country music star Jimmie Allen will sing the national anthem, Indianapolis 500 veteran and NBC Indy 500 studio analyst Danica Patrick will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray hardtop convertible Pace Car, and Emmy Award-nominated actor Milo Ventimiglia will wave the green flag to start the 500-Mile Race at 12:45 p.m. (ET).

Other popular pre-race traditions, including the playing of “Taps,” the rifle volley and the invocation, also will take place as fans return to IMS for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” after a one-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live coverage on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network starts at 11 a.m. (ET) Sunday.