Lunchtime traffic was brought to a standstill in New York on Monday [18 May] as the Indianapolis 500's past and present converged on the Herald Square landmark made famous by the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Fronted by the yellow car that started it all - the 1911 Marmon Wasp - and the biggest prize in motorsports, the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy, all 33 drivers competing in the 2009 event lined up for a pre-race photo opportunity, in eleven rows of three to reflect their grid positions, in front of the Macy's store, before moving on to a media gathering at Calvin Klein headquarters in Times Square South.
"This is certainly an exciting opportunity for us, and our partners at IZOD, to be a part of this special Macy's promotion and helping us celebrate our centennial," Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League CEO Tony George admitted, "It's been a very exciting Month of May and we look forward to capping it off with a very exciting race."
IZOD, a best-selling brand in the Phillips-Van Heusen Corp portfolio, has created IndyCar racing heritage-inspired and modern performance clothing lines to correspond to the Brickyard's 1909 birth date. The historic exhibit - featuring multiple generations of race cars from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, 500 winners' helmets, original photographs and memorabilia - dresses the large display windows and lines the Broadway to Seventh Avenue aisles.
After the outdoor photo session, spectators/shoppers stopped to photograph the Borg-Warner Trophy, which occupied a centre-aisle display space reserved during the winter holidays for the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball.
"So many Macy's customers are fans of the Indianapolis 500, and that connection is just terrific," chairman, president and CEO Terry J Lundgren commented, "[This exhibit] is really special. I walked around the store before it opened, looked at all the cars and read about all the history. There's a story behind each one. It's a fascinating experience."