New food, merchandise and entertainment at the Speedway for race fans

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It's Checkered Flag Friday--the Friday before race day where the mayor has asked race fans to wear black and white to show their spirit.

The inaugural running of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis gets underway tomorrow afternoon, but not before qualifying rounds today.

It's another big day out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for race fans. And there are lots of new features your family will enjoy.

Alley Cafe is one of the newest additions to the Speedway. The track has partnered with a new food vendor, Levy Restaurants, for a whole new spin on track food. At lunchtime on Thursday, the plaza was packed and not one unhappy customer in the bunch--that we could see. That's because this is not your typical fast food. The new menu has a gourmet flair with a racing pizzazz. There's an all-star lineup of hot dogs from the Barbecue Brisket Dog to the Chicago Dog and Philly Dog. Chef Jonathan Williams helped created the new items and talks about a couple of his favorites.

"First of all, we have our Brickyard Classic Burger and our secret sauce. That's what makes the burger! Everybody is going crazy about it! They love it! The pork tenderloin sandwich. It has a little twist to it. Pickled onions, pickled peppers, spicy brown, jack cheese and another pork fat, which is bacon," said Chef Jonathan Williams, Alley Cafe.

"And new this year, we have craft beer. There are a couple of trailers that we're presenting that will have all craft sections that will address the demographic that likes craft beer today," said Jerry Adams, Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

There are also more beverage offerings with signature racing-themed mixed drinks and new this year--craft beers from Sun King Brewery.

The track has also partnered with a new merchandise vendor--Legends. They have a new lineup of racing gear for the whole family including plenty of Grand Prix items.

For entertainment, there is a Midway set up in the Infield. That includes a kids Zone, obstacle course and more activities for the entire family to enjoy when you're not trackside.

The gates open at nine this morning for qualifying. Admission for adults is $20. Children 12 and under are free.

Don't forget, due to the re-configuration of the track, most of the parking is outside the track this year. Most lots are $5. There is free parking off the 30th St. gate in the North parking lot.

                                                                   TODAY AT THE TRACK: FRIDAY, MAY 9

 INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 8, 2014 - Information about 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis activity Friday, May 9, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

DAY:  Grand Prix of Indianapolis Qualifying / USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Races

SCHEDULE (all times local):

8:45 a.m.-6:30 p.m.  Public Gates Open
8:45 a.m.-9:45 a.m.  IndyCar Experience
9 a.m.    IMS Midway Opens
10 a.m-10:45 p.m.  Verizon IndyCar Series practice
11 a.m.-11:45 a.m.  USF2000 Qualifying
Noon-12:45 p.m.  Pro Mazda Qualifying
1 p.m.-1:45 p.m.  Indy Lights Qualifying
2 p.m.-3:10 p.m.  Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying
3:30 p.m.   USF2000 Race #1
4:30 p.m.   Pro Mazda Race #1
5:30 p.m.   Indy Lights Race #1
6:30 p.m.   Public Gates Close
7 p.m.-Midnight  Rev Event (Separate admission)

TICKETS:  $20, children 12 and under free

10 a.m.     Verizon IndyCar Series Practice:  Lincoln Electric Representative (TBD)
4:30 p.m.  Pro Mazda Race:  Allied Building Products Representative (TBD)

PUBLIC GATES OPEN: 9 a.m. (local time). Pedestrian gates open are Gates 1B, 1B.1, 2, 4, 6, 6A, 7 South, 7 North, 9, 9A, 10, 10A, 12.

STANDS OPEN:   A Penthouse, B Penthouse, E Stand, E Penthouse, H Stand (As needed: Sec. 13-24), J Stand, North Vista Wheelchair (As needed:  GA Sec. 21), Northwest Vista (As needed GA: Sec. 1-10), Northwest Vista Deck, Paddock Wheelchair (As needed GA:  Box 19-22), Paddock Penthouse (As needed GA:  Box 10-20), South Terrace, South Vista (As needed GA: Sec. 1-5), South Vista Deck (As needed GA:  Sec. 1-4), Southwest Vista Deck, Tower Terrace (As needed: Sec. 37 & 79), Tower Terrace Wheelchair, Pit Road Terrace, Wheelchair Accessible (Inside), Corner 5, Corner 7.

MUSEUM HOURS: 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for fans 6-15 years old, with children under 6 free. Gate admission to the Indianapolis 500 is not included in Museum admission and must be purchased separately.

2014 ticket information: Ticket information is available for the four events in 2014 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, 98th Indianapolis 500, Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP.

Fans can order tickets at , by calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday or by visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information