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Historics: Indy 500 drivers added to SVRA Brickyard Invitational feature

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The field of Indianapolis 500 Mile Race veterans for the June 8 Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s (SVRA) “Indy Legends Pro-Am” race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) has picked up four more drivers, according to a press release from SVRA issued Monday, May 5. Davey Hamilton, Robby Unser, Pete Halsmer and Rocky Moran added their names to a growing roster already announced. These drivers will compete with a field of as many as 20 other Indianapolis 500 veterans in a special feature of the SVRA’s June 6 – 8 “Brickyard Invitational” vintage race weekend.

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"I am in awe of the outstanding talent we are drawing into this Pro-Am charity race,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. "I continue to talk to great drivers and we will have additional announcements soon."

Hamilton, renowned for his drives in super-modified racing, competed in 11 Indianapolis 500s with three top-10 finishes including a fourth place. He recently raced in the new Stadium Super Truck Series.

A two-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, Pete Halsmer, had a decorated career in sports car racing. He won six Trans-Am races, two International Motorsports Association (IMSA) GTO championships and three class wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Rocky Moran raced in three Indianapolis 500s and won the 1993 24 Hours of Daytona with Mark Dismore and P.J. Jones.

Robby Unser competed in two Indianapolis 500s finishing fifth and eighth. He was Indy Racing League rookie of the year in 1998 and won eight Pikes Peak Hill Climbs. Robby is the son of three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser who was recently announced as the leader of the Brickyard Invitational oval experience.

SVRA, a historic/vintage racing organization, is creating a return to competition for the famous drivers with a 40-minute race of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course. The cars for the Pro-Am will be 1967 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of “Group 6,” with an engine displacement limit of 355 cubic inches. The Indianapolis 500 veterans will be paired with amateur drivers, each taking a 20-minute stint. Five minutes will be allotted for driver change.

The four latest entries join eleven others previously announced: Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr.; 1992 Rookie-of-the-Year Lyn St. James; Willy T. Ribbs; Mark Dismore; Geoff Brabham; Alex Lloyd; Johnny Parsons Jr.; Rick Treadway; Spike Gehlhausen; Rilly Roe; and John Hollansworth.

Parnelli Jones, who won the 1963 Indianapolis 500 will pace the field as part of his duties as Brickyard Invitational Grand Marshal. The Pro-Am will take place Sunday, June 8.

According to SVRA, the Brickyard Invitational expects to be "be the largest gathering of race cars that has ever been assembled for competition in America." The SVRA has 11 groups of cars planned, spanning 100 years of vintage machines and all will be in action at IMS.

The array of entries include examples of select pre-war machines, classic sports cars, Formula One and Le Mans prototypes as current as 2008. The historic 2.5-mile oval will be utilized as well with exhibition runs by a wide variety of cars including several of the crowd-favorite 1950’s-vintage Indianapolis 500 “roadsters.” Race fans will have the opportunity to camp overnight inside the Speedway.

The Pro-Am cars and drivers will also participate in a Fan Walk through the starting grid prior to the opening ceremonies allowing fans to see the cars up close, take photos and chat with the drivers. Driver pairings and starting positions will be determined by a lottery. Entries to this event will be limited and all entry fees will be donated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum Foundation.

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