Indy 500: Centennial Celebration Cause for Senate Resolution, Lots of Merchandise

The Indy 500 centennial celebration is underway, and businesses are banking on commemorative goodies geared specifially toward the large Indy 500 fan base. The U.S. Senate even augmented the celebration by passing a resolution that officially recognizes the race.

Ray Harroun, winner of the first Indianapolis 500, is highlighted on 50 million First-Class Mail Forever stamps, racing his yellow Marmon Wasp that led him to victory. The United States Postal Service has designed various themed stamps in honor of momentous figures or celebrations throughout American history, and honoring the Indianapolis 500 is no exception.

Not only will you see Harroun’s Marmon racing its way through mail, watchmaker TAG Heuer also decided to celebrate the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” with a limited edition Indy 500 Chronograph. Inspired by a racer’s dashboard, the face of the watch resembles a tachometer. Only 1000 will be available for purchase for about $1650, with one of them being presented to the winner of the Indy 500 on May 29.

Also proposing a toast to the race and its qualifiers is road racer Scott Pruett. Pruett is a three-time Daytona Prototype class champion in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, and owner of Pruett Vineyard. A limited-edition Napa cabernet sauvignon bearing the Indy 500 logo will also be available to those with a more refined taste for wine, instead of the usual domestic beers racing fans drink while watching from the stands. Buy a bottle of the $100 cab at www.scottpruettvineyard.com.

Also in line with the Indy 500 centennial is Chevrolet’s 100th anniversary, and what makes these two coinciding celebrations so significant is that the Chevrolet family was closely involved with the historic race. Arthur Chevrolet ran the very first Indianapolis 500. Brother Louis ran the race in 1915 and 1919, while another brother Gaston took first place in 1920. To celebrate both centennials, the 2011 Camaro Convertible will be serve as the pace car for this year’s event.

Expect to see more Indy Centennial items in the week ahead leading up to the May 29 race.

Source: United States Postal Service, Sacramento Bee, GM

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