Automotive History always on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but they’ll be racing this weekend. The inaugural Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, where some of yesterday’s heroes and their machines are back on track sports cars, GT’s, open wheelers, IMSA- GTP, A-L-M-S, Grand Am’s, even vintage stock cars built through the decades, from the 60’s thru the 80’s will take part. practice and qualifying already under way, the special feature races are slated for Saturday and Sunday..
The oldest living 500 champion says it’s a special time not only for racing fans, but for the drivers as well, thrilled to take their special cars on the Brickyard track.
“That’s the ultimate for them,” says 1963 Indy 500 champion Parnelli Jones. “I think that’s why this is going to be blown into a really big thing, and create a lot of interest, and there are so many people out there that have all these beautiful old cars, and you know the only place they have to run them is an event that’s like this. So, having to come here to Indianapolis is going to be the highlight of their opportunities.”
Among the famous faces on hand with Jones include Janet Guthrie, the first female to compete at the 500, Willy T. Ribbs, and Bobby and Al Unser, Junior, with a combined 5 wins in the 500 covering four decades. Most of them will compete this weekend, some just thrilled to be on hand to see the spectacle, including 3-time 500 champion, Bobby Unser, never at a loss for words, especially at his favorite track.
I think it’s about one of the greatest things other than the Indy 500 I’ve ever seen, and it’s happening here,”said Unser. “In other words, I just can’t believe that there are this many vintage cars in the whole United States,, and they are running and well kept. Great big trailers, I mean it looks like Indy crews are all over the place, looks like NASCAR crews are all over the place, but they’re vintage cars.”