Indy notes: Superstar Clarkson to perform Indianapolis 500 national anthem

Multiple Grammy Award-winning superstar Kelly Clarkson will perform the national anthem before the start of the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, May 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Clarkson, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, rose to fame in 2002 as the winner of the inaugural season of “American Idol.” She has grown to become one of the most popular artists of any era, with more than 100 No. 1 singles on all Billboard charts and total worldwide sales of more than 25 million albums and 36 million singles. She is currently a coach on the NBC hit singing competition show, “The Voice.”

She has won three Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, two American Country Awards and one Country Music Association Award.

This will be the second time Clarkson has performed the anthem before the Indianapolis 500, as she also sang in 2011 with Seal while accompanied on piano by David Foster.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Kelly back to IMS on race day to sing the national anthem for hundreds of thousands of fans in the stands and millions of viewers around the world,” IMS President Doug Boles said. “She is an incredible live performer with a wonderful and instantly recognizable voice. We look forward to her rendition of the national anthem during one of the most poignant moments of this iconic global sporting spectacle.”

IMS also announced that Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Lilly King will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport pace car to lead the starting field to the green flag for the fifth annual INDYCAR Grand Prix on Saturday.

King, from Evansville, Indiana, won two gold medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, in the 100-meter breaststroke and as a member of Team USA’s 4×100 medley relay team. She also is the world-record holder in the 50-meter and 100-meter breaststroke and is an eight-time gold medal winner in the FINA World Championships.

King, a junior at Indiana University, has enjoyed a dominant collegiate swimming career. She is a three-time reigning NCAA champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke, has earned four All-America honors in each of her three years swimming for the powerful Hoosiers’ program and is a three-time Big Ten Swimmer of the Year. She also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in her sophomore and junior years.

“I’m super-excited to be able to drive the pace car for the INDYCAR Grand Prix,” King said. “As a homegrown Hoosier, there is nothing cooler than being able to drive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!”

King will lead the starting field of the Verizon IndyCar Series race on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course at IMS in a Corvette Grand Sport that features a 6.2-liter, V-8 engine generating 460-hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque, with an eight-speed paddle-shift 8L90 automatic transmission. The car is also equipped with an available carbon-fiber ground effects package.

Tickets for Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix and the 102nd Indianapolis 500 on May 27 are available at IMS.com. Both events also air live on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Wilson adds Intelisys as co-primary sponsor for Indy 500

Andretti Autosport driver Stefan Wilson announced that Intelisys, a ScanSource company and American leading technology services distributor of telecommunications, network and cloud services, will be the co-primary sponsor of his No. 25 Driven2SaveLives Honda for the 102nd Indianapolis 500.

Wilson, 28, will attempt to qualify for the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. His title sponsor is the Indiana Donor Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the 115,000 people in the U.S. waiting for lifesaving organ donations. Via the #Driven2SaveLives campaign, Wilson and Indiana Donor Network hope to encourage more people to register as organ and tissue donors. It is a cause close to Wilson’s heart since his older brother, Justin, died from injuries sustained in a 2015 race. Justin’s decision to be a registered donor saved five lives.

“Stefan’s persistence, talent and authenticity represent what Intelisys and our partner community stand for,” said Rick Sheldon, co-founder of Intelisys. “Ultra-competitive, innovative and courageous, Stefan does it all with a confidence that is built for the long run. He exemplifies the heart of our sales partners, the people who drive our business forward every day. I’m blessed to be part of an industry that exhibits openness and generosity as a matter of course. Together with our partner sponsors, we consider it a privilege to support a cause as honorable as the No. 25 Driven2SaveLives Honda.”

Founded in 1994, Intelisys delivers an extensive range of technology solutions to global business customers through a network of independent technology advisors. The company has joined forces with three of its top-performing sales partners – Onward Communications, ROI Communications and Global Communication Networks – to highlight the technology services channel as the best way to develop, plan and implement leading IT and cloud strategies.

“It’s a tremendous honor to represent the Intelisys community at the Indianapolis 500,” Stefan Wilson said. “There are many synergies between what I do and what Intelisys and its partners do, which is what makes this partnership so meaningful. Racing, like the technology services channel, is a very competitive environment that attracts high performers. I just really want to represent Intelisys as well as I can and have a great run on the track.”

Wilson’s No. 25 Driven2SaveLives Honda car will be revealed at 2 p.m. ET Monday, May 14 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the day before practice begins for the May 27 race.

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