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Rally Kicks Off Grand Prix Weekend

Last updated on Thursday, May 8, 2014

(SPEEDWAY) - There will be a full field for this year’s 500, and 25 cars for the first IndyCar road race at the Speedway.

About 200 people stopped by Monument Circle for a month-of-May kickoff rally, with IndyCar drivers Ed Carpenter, Mike Conway and Pippa Mann mingling with the crowd and ceremonially presenting the entry list for both the 500 and the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

The Speedway's Doug Boles expects about 40-thousand spectators for Saturday's Grand Prix, but he anticipates benefits beyond the race-day crowd. Instead of the opening weekend being just practice, drivers will start the month competing for standings points in the Grand Prix. That in turn has brought in motorsports media coverage from outlets who otherwise would wait until 500 weekend.

The 500 will set its field the following Saturday, then determine the polesitter and starting order the next day. Boles says there are enough entries to guarantee a full field of 33 cars, though it would take some late entries to allow for bumping on qualification day.

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