The field continues to fill for the inaugural Firestone Heroes of Indy event at Texas Motor Speedway.

The race is scheduled for Sunday, October 12th at 1 p.m. prior to the season finale Chevy 500k Indy Racing League IndyCar Series race.

Drivers newly confirmed to participate in the event include two-time Indy 500 winner Gordon Johncock, 1963 Indy 500 victor Parnelli Jones, 1985 Indy 500 pole sitter Pancho Carter, Billy Vukovich II and four-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser who will drive the pace car for the event. These five legends join three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, fellow Texans Jim McElreath, Lloyd Ruby and four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt who will serve as grand marshal for the event.

The Firestone Heroes of Indy will pit ten of the greatest drivers in the history of the Indianapolis 500 in a 25-lap showdown driving identically prepared Thunder Roadsters. The drivers will compete on the quarter-mile paved oval on the front stretch of the 1.5-mile Superspeedway.

"We continue to confirm some of the biggest names in Indy history to be part of this event," said speedway general manager Eddie Gossage. "All the drivers are enthusiastic about taking part and I know the fans will love seeing these legends all together in one place."

Johncock visited Victory Lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the rain-delayed 1973 "500." He came back to win again in 1982 over Rick Mears in the second closest "500" finish in history. Johncock retired briefly in 1985 but returned to eventually post a total of 24 career starts in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." He ranks third on the all-time "500" mileage with 7,895 miles.

Jones earned his Indianapolis 500 victory in 1963, withstanding an oil leak to defeat the late Jim Clark. Jones was the first driver to break the 150 mph qualifying barrier at the Brickyard in 1962. He nearly won the 1967 "500," retiring three laps from the chequered while leading in Andy Granatelli's turbine. As a car owner, Jones won the 1970 and 1971 Indianapolis 500 races with Al Unser in the driver's seat.

Carter sat on the pole for the 1985 Indianapolis 500 and posted his best finish, third, in the 1982 event. Carter was the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year in 1968 and started 17 Indianapolis 500-mile classics.

Vukovich, son of 1953 and 1954 Indianapolis 500 winner Bill, finished second behind Johncock in the 1973 "500." Vukovich was named the race's Rookie of the Year in 1968 when he finished seventh. The California native started a dozen races at the Brickyard.

Unser is one of three drivers to have held the Borg-Warner Trophy in Victory Lane four times during his career, 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987. Unser led in 11 of his 27 Indianapolis 500 starts for 644 laps, more than any driver in history. He trails only A.J. Foyt in career Indianapolis 500 mileage with 10,890. He is currently the driving coach for the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series.

Thunder Roadsters are produced by 600 Racing and resemble the roadsters that dominated the Indianapolis 500 and Indy Car racing through the 1950s and 1960s. The cars are powered by a 1250cc Yamaha engine and will be sporting special Firestone Firehawk tires for the event.

Tickets to the October 12 Chevy 500k and the Firestone Heroes of Indy are available daily at the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office, by calling (817) 215-8500, online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com and at Ticketmaster locations.

 

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