BY BART DOAN
SPEEDWAY — Though it’s only April, May was in the air Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Workers were drilling in bleachers that will soon be filled with fans, while a contingent of city, state, racing community officials, and others gathered for the unveiling of the 2013 500 Festival event cars.
The cars are 2013 Chevy Camaros, colored kinetic blue, and were lined along the main straight-away at IMS. Leading them around the track was a 2013 Chevy Volt, adorned with the official logo of the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.
John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager for Chevrolet Performance Cars, said there was a method behind the creation of the 2013 official cars.
“It’s a really special car,” he said. “It has a unique exterior paint to it and 21-inch wheels. It’s fabulous to see so many people excited about the car. It really just stands out with the Indianapolis 500 decal and the kinetic blue paint. It’s just a really nice car to have for the official 500 Festival vehicle.
“We had a concept car with Hot Wheels a couple of years ago with what was a green chrome paint. But you can’t just build a chrome painted car, so we went back and forth and really settled on the (kinetic blue) color.”
The color pays homage to the partnership with Hot Wheels, which had their logo on the interior and exterior of the vehicles.
“It’s really similar to the color Hot Wheels used on their first Camaros back in 1967,” Fitzpatrick said. “So it was a really great partnership and it came together very well.”
Indianapolis 500 Festival volunteers were scattered all over the venue and Tom Surber of the IMS said it was a perfect way to usher in race season in Speedway.
“We can’t wait to take the cars out and have them all over the community,” he said. “The vehicle is cool. These are very special cars.”
The 500 Festival was created in 1957 to organize civic events to engage the community in celebrating the Indianapolis 500. Last year, about 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors took part in various festival events, which last throughout the month of May.
This year’s 500 Festival kicks off with a REV Your Engines Concert at Monument Circle on April 27. The parade, which the cars will be featured in, will be May 25.
For more information on the 500 Festival, visit the website at www.500festival.com or call 927-3378.