News keeps coming from the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) as its 2015 Brickyard Invitational historic racing weekend continues to grow with big names from the world of the Indianapolis 500. Via press release on Tuesday, March 31, SVRA announced that “The Gas Man” Tom Sneva will serve as Honorary Steward during the four-day festival at Indianapolis Motor Speedway June 11-14. Sneva joins recently announced Grand Marshal, Al Unser, Sr., and other Indy stars in celebrating motor racing’s heritage at the event.
According to the SVRA release, 19-time starter of the “500” Sneva was the first driver to qualify for that race at over 200 mph. A member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame (inducted in 2005), Sneva started the Indy 500 on pole three times and finished second in the race in 1977, 1978, and 1980.
In his overall IndyCar career, Sneva won USAC IndyCar National Championships in 1977 and 1978. His career included 13 wins and 14 pole positions. Sneva came to be called “The Gas Man” for his “all out, record-breaking driving style.”
About his participation at this event Sneva commented, “I heard a lot about this deal, the Brickyard Invitational, last year. I decided to check it out first hand this time around. From everything I see it looks like Tony Parella and his people put on a first-rate event real race fans enjoy.”
Sneva joins an ever-growing roster of Indy legends who will participate this year, many coming back from 2014. Names announced for 2015 Pro-Am race, the featured event of the weekend that pairs Indy Legends with amateur owner/racers, include: Lyn St. James, Robby McGehee, Pete Halsmer, Eliseo Salazar, Willy T. Ribbs, Mark Dismore, Spike Gehlhausen, Billy Roe, Tom Bagley and Rick Treadway.
SVRA plans to have 11 groups of cars spanning 100 years of motor sport history all competing at the Brickyard. This family-friendly event allows spectators to get up close and personal with the cars in the paddock, talk with the owner/drivers, and enjoy the Speedway in a way much different from today’s professional racing series weekends.
Last year was the inaugural Brickyard Invitational. Like last year, in addition to races using the road course configuration, this second event will allow drivers to run demonstration laps on the famed 2.5 oval. Also demonstrated will be crowd-favorites, the 1950s Indianapolis 500 “roadsters.”