Mario Andretti Crowns 500 Queen During Breakfast at the Brickyard

When the 2010 Indianapolis 500 Festival Breakfast rolls around this month, legendary Indianapolis 500-mile race winner Mario Andretti will once again be on hand to celebrate alongside racing fans from all over Indiana, the United States and the world. This year, the racing star has a pleasant mission: to crown the winning 500 Festival queen.

The crowning event in Indianapolis actually takes place in the Plaza Pavilion at Speedway‘s famous racetrack, sometimes referred to as “The Brickyard.” The date is Saturday, May 22 this year, and the event is known as  Breakfast at the Brickyard. Thirty-three young ladies from Indianapolis, the 500 Festival Princesses, will hold their breaths while the most famous race car driver in history prepares to crown one of them Queen. This new member of racing royalty will later have the eyes of the racing world upon her as she presents the traditional sip of milk to the winner of the Indy 500.

The name of the Andretti family has figured prominently in the world of racing, Indianapolis sports and Indianapolis society for generations. Mario is still considered one of the brightest stars in the sport, having taken home wins in the Indianapolis 500, Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR, World Sportscar Championship and several first place trophies in midget, sprint and drag racing. Mario Andretti’s sons Jeff and Michael Andretti also went into racing in a big way, also successfully.

Mario’s twin brother Aldo Andretti became enamored of racing in his youth, and had a promising career before it was cut short by not one, but two terrible crashes, forcing him into retirement.

Aldo’s son John Andretti and younger brother Adam are still active in the sport today, and participate in various Indianapolis charitable events.

Here’s a great video tribute to the legacy of Mario Andretti, famous Indianapolis personage.


Breakfast at the Brickyard includes a question and answer period with well-known luminaries in the field of auto racing, an up-close tour of the pits, a chance to hop in your own car and drive a lap around the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway racetrack and, of course, a hearty Hoosier breakfast with famous people from Indianapolis and beyond, including Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

With the 2010 Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon already a thing of the past, along with the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo held in the Indianapolis Convention Center last Thursday, racing month is well underway.

Indianapolis 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard
Saturday, May 22, 2010 – 9:00 am

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Plaza Pavilion
$60 per person / $750 for a table
Information and tickets: 317.614.6400

More details at the 500 Festival website

Indianapolis 500 events include:

Indianapolis 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard
Indianapolis 500 Festival Carb Day
Indianapolis 500 Festival Community Day
Indianapolis 500 Festival Kid’s Day
Indianapolis 500 Festival Memorial Service
Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon
Indianapolis 500 Festival Princess Program
Indianapolis 500 Festival Rookie Run
Indianapolis 500 Festival Snakepit Ball
Indianapolis 500 Festival Victory Circle Celebration
Indianapolis 500-mile race