The day before the Indy 500, Legends Day presented by Firestone honors the immortal names and machines of more than a century of the Indianapolis 500
The 1960s - a thrilling decade of heroes and some of the most beloved cars in Indianapolis 500 history - will be saluted through a variety of exciting activities for fans, including:
"There have been many great eras in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, but few have captivated the fans like the 1960s," IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. "It was a transformative decade of iconic drivers and machines that helped 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing' reach a new level of global popularity. We can't wait to share in this celebration with our loyal fans on Legends Day presented with Firestone, and we thank Firestone for its continued support of these events that create new magic and memories."
The 1960s were one of the most transformative eras in the history of the world's most prestigious auto race.
Indy icons such as Jim Rathmann, A.J. Foyt, Rodger Ward, Parnelli Jones, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Bobby Unser and Mario Andretti won "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" during the 1960s, while legends such as Al Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Gordon Johncock, Dan Gurney, Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Mark Donohue and Lloyd Ruby all made their "500" debuts during the decade. Team Penske, which has won a record 17 Indianapolis 500's, also made its IMS debut in 1969.
Great technological change also swept across the Speedway during the decade. The 1960s started with the continued dominance of the hulking front-engine roadster cars, such as Jones' famous No. 98 Watson/Offy nicknamed "Calhoun" that he drove to victory in 1963. But the revolution of lithe, rear-engine formula cars also took root during the decade, with Clark's victory in a Lotus-Ford in 1965 starting a streak of Indy 500 wins by rear-engine cars that continues to this day.
Famous cars powered by gas turbine helicopter engines also captivated fans with their distinctive sound and set speed records in the late 1960s. Andretti's 1969 race-winning Hawk III/Ford included aerodynamic pieces built into the body that set the stage for the wings that drastically increased downforce and speeds in the early 1970s at the Speedway.
The 1960s theme of Legends Day presented by Firestone also dovetails with the 50th anniversary celebration of the sole victory in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" by the legendary Andretti, in 1969. Andretti will be featured on Bronze Badge and Silver Badge credentials and in the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge Official Program.
Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band will headline the Firestone Legends Day Concert starting at 3:30 pm on the Firestone Stage inside Turn 4 of the IMS oval.
"Zac Brown Band is a phenomenon, one of the most exciting, talented and popular live acts in any genre of music today," IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. "The band's unique blend of rock, soul, country, bluegrass and reggae has incredible appeal to so many people and reaches a new level when performed live. Race Weekend for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 just keeps getting better and better. Is it May yet?"
Zac Brown Band is a multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning, southern rock group led by front man, Zac Brown.
Throughout their decade-long career, Zac Brown Band has had five consecutive albums reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200 and four consecutive albums debut at No. 1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart. To date, the group has won three Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist in 2010, sold more than 30 million singles, 9 million albums, has achieved 15 No. 1 radio singles and is the second act to top both the Country and Active Rock formats.
Zac Brown Band has headlined eight North American tours and currently holds the record for most consecutive sold-out shows at the iconic Fenway Park. Since their debut, Zac Brown Band has developed a reputation with critics and fans alike as one of the most dynamic live performers, marked by strong musicianship that defies genre boundaries.
Opening the show are Carly Pearce and Clayton Anderson.
Born into the bluegrass brawn of Kentucky, Pearce has never known a moment that country music wasn't her destined path. At the young age of 11, she began touring with a local band, at 16 quit high school for a job performing at Dollywood while being homeschooled and learned humility working odd jobs upon moving to Nashville. Now, she's defying odds with her No. 1 debut "Every Little Thing," which steered a chart-topping trifecta on SiriusXM's "The Highway" that also includes "If My Name Was Whiskey" and "Hide The Wine."
With the gold-certified title track from her highly acclaimed debut album, "Every Little Thing" (Big Machine Records), Pearce became the highest-charting solo female debut since July 2015 and one of only three to accomplish the feat in over a decade. Her textured vocals and emotive songwriting prowess are emphasized across the full 13 tracks, which Uproxx regarded as "the best country debut of 2017."
In 2018, Pearce earned her first CMT Music Award "Breakthrough Video of the Year" for "Every Little Thing," as well as a Radio Disney Music Award for "The Freshest! - Radio Disney Country Best New Artist." She has been nominated for 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards "Best New Country Artist" and ACM Awards "New Female Artist of the Year," where she also presented during the live broadcast.
Her sound has always honored the legendary voices before her, evident with over 60 invitations to play the Grand Ole Opry. Following coveted slots on four major tours with Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts and Luke Bryan (including stadium dates), Pearce inspired ABC Radio News to boast: "'Every Little Thing' points to Carly Pearce as country's 'it' girl."
Pearce has performed the national anthem before the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard in 2017 and 2018 at IMS. She recently wrapped her co-headline tour with Russell Dickerson and will join Jason Aldean's RIDE ALL NIGHT TOUR this summer. Pearce is aligned once again with sought-after producer and longtime collaborator busbee (Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Kelly Clarkson), with the recent release of her new Top 30-and-rising new single "Closer To You" and recording more songs for her sophomore album.
Southern Indiana native Anderson has released three albums, including his latest record, "Only To Borrow." Recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville, this six-song EP was written and produced by Anderson and some of music's most talented writers, musicians and producers. The album's first single, "In the Dark," earned immediate streaming activity online and captured the attention of influential music playlist programmers.
In college, Anderson decided to learn guitar because he thought it would impress the ladies. Next thing he knew, he and his friends were playing local parties and bars. After he graduated, he won Kenny Chesney's "Next Big Star Competition." It was the boost of confidence he needed to leave his job at a mortgage company and move to Nashville.
Anderson's first record, "Torn Jeans & Tailgates," was released in 2011 and climbed to No. 12 on the iTunes Country Chart, situating itself next to household names like Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton.
Anderson has traveled across the country playing backrooms, side stages and honky tonks from Michigan to Florida, each time gaining a few more fans and a better foothold on areas that aren't traditional country strongholds. He's opened for some of country's biggest stars, the likes of Shelton, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Darius Rucker and even Mr. Party himself, Jimmy Buffett.
He also has performed the national anthem before the Red Bull Air Race in 2017 and 2018 at IMS, and his performance during the Firestone Legends Day Concert featuring Keith Urban in 2017 was a hit with fans.
The addition to the Firestone Legends Day Concert, there is even more star-studded music on Race Weekend for the 103rd Indianapolis 500. Rock legends Foreigner and funk, R&B and pop icons Kool & the Gang are performing at the Miller Lite Carb Day Concert on Friday, May 24, with the electronic music lineup for the Snake Pit presented by Coors Light to be announced soon.
As the Official Tire of Country Music™ and the Official Tire of the Indianapolis 500, Firestone has served as the presenting sponsor of Legends Day since it debuted in 2014. The partnership brings together two platforms - racing and country music - that have played significant roles in the rich history of the time-tested Firestone brand.
Concert Tickets: $35 and up. Children 3 and under are admitted free. All concert tickets include admission to the concert and all Legends Day presented by Firestone activities that day at IMS, including autograph sessions with current and past Indianapolis 500 drivers, the 103rd Indianapolis 500 public drivers' meeting, historic race car laps and more. IMS gates open at 8 a.m., with concert gates opening at 2 pm.
Legends Day Tickets: $10 and up. Kids 15 and under admitted free with adult. These tickets do not include admission to the Firestone Legends Day Concert.