HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force Recruiting sets the pace at Indy 500

Air Force partners with Indy 500

Patrons at the Indy 500 lineup to check out the Air Force interactive hangar prior to the Indianapolis 500 race May 26 in Indianapolis. The race day crowd saw 300,000 people come through the gates. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Chance Babin)

Air Force partnership with Indy 500

Air Force and Andretti Autosport personnel watch a helicopter flyover during the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, May 26, 2019. The Air Force is a full-season associate partner of Andretti Autosport with a branded No. 25 Honda race car in their livery. The IndyCar series includes the types of recruiting events that help inspire, engage and recruit future Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Chance Babin)

Air Force partnership with Indy 500

Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, Air Force Recruiting Service commander, greets fans during the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, May 26, 2019. The Air Force is a full-season associate partner of Andretti Autosport with a branded No. 25 Honda race car in their livery. The IndyCar series includes the types of recruiting events that help inspire, engage and recruit future Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Chance Babin)

Air Force partners with Indy 500

Conor Daly makes his way around the Indy 500 race track in his No. 25 Honda wrapped in an Air Force Heritage design, May 26 in Indianapolis. The Air Force made a strong push to those with an interest in science, technology, engineering and math. The Air Force and Indy Car racing share many of the same traits in these realms. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Chance Babin)

Air Force partners with Indy 500

Patrons at the Indy 500 lineup to check out the Air Force interactive hangar prior to the Indianapolis 500 race May 26 in Indianapolis. The race-day crowd saw 300,000 people come through the gates. The Air Force made a strong push to those with an interest in science, technology, engineering and math. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Chance Babin)

INDIANAPOLIS (AFNS) --

The Air Force brand was on full display at the Indianapolis 500 auto race May 26, as Air Force Recruiting sponsored the No. 25 car driven by Conor Daly and was an associate sponsor for the Andretti Autosport team and its four drivers, including Alexander Rossi, who placed second in the race.

More than 300,000 people were in attendance at “the greatest spectacle in racing” and another 5.4 million watched the race on NBC. The event was the most streamed Indy car race ever on the network.

“We’re really happy to welcome the Air Force to the Andretti family for the Indy 500 with Conor and a full season across all our cars,” said Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport chairman and chief executive officer. “Having five American drivers represent the team at America’s biggest race was very special and we’re honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the brave men and women of the U.S. Air Force. Having the Air Force with us, not just at Indy, but full season makes us very proud.”

This is the second year in a row Daly has represented the Air Force. Last year he raced for Thom Burns Racing in the Indy 500. Making the jump to the Andretti team was a big move for the local favorite, who is from Noblesville, Indiana.

“My car for the last two years has been the best looking car in the field and this year it’s going a lot faster. It’s just awesome to be part of this team,” Daly said.

Daly held his own throughout the race after qualifying 11th. He climbed to as high as fourth with 32 laps remaining. Andretti said a late mechanical adjustment may have cost Daly several places and left him vulnerable at the final restart with 18 laps to go. He finished the race in 10th place.

“(Daly) did a great job,” Andretti said. “We screwed him up a little bit on that last pit stop and that put him back. I think he had the potential to be right up there with Alex (Rossi) right there at the end. I really feel bad for him. He drove a really, really good race. He actually did a great job all month long. He’s a pleasure to work with. We had a lot of fun. Hopefully we can all do this again.”

Rossi had a back-and-forth battle with eventual winner, Simon Pagenaud, but gave up the lead in the final few laps to take second place for Team Andretti. Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay finished eighth, giving Andretti three top-10 finishers.

“Those last couple of laps were incredible. They were really battling it out up at the front of the pack and I thought Alexander Rossi was going to end up in first place,” said Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, Air Force Recruiting Service commander. “I think partnering with Andretti Autosport gives us an opportunity to engage with the American public and tell them about all of the opportunities available when they join the Air Force. It is a great partnership.”

For the Air Force, being a part of Indy means a full month of events leading up to the big race.

“The investment with Conor Daly and the No. 25 car running in the Indy 500 was successful before the green flag dropped,” said Maj. Ross McKnight, AFRS branch chief of special events. “We’ve seen good lead and registrant numbers, great awareness and great push on social media. I’m real happy with how everything looks. We had the awareness and the reach, a lot of success at various high school visits as well as lead and registrants on the given weekends.”

While McKnight was excited with how the Andretti team performed, he was equally thrilled with the entertainment the race gave to fans. He hopes fans can recognize the traits a race team and the Air Force share and see the nearly 270 career opportunities available in the Air Force—either full or part time.

“I want the fans to be entertained and relate to the sport and see how it can be transitioned into supporting their Air Force,” he said.

There are many similarities between Indy racing and the Air Force, with each having dedicated teams that prepare for engagement.

“I think it’s a great fit because there’s a lot of science, technology, engineering and math,” Daly said. “The technology that goes into these cars, the work that is put into making these cars fast are all in the minute details, stuff you need to have when you’re flying fighter jets as well. Everything is really detail oriented and I think that aligns so well with everything in the Air Force.”

Capt. Nichole Stillwell, a 27th Fighter Squadron F-22 Raptor pilot at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, was a guest of AFRS for the weekend and represented the Air Force during the Indy 500 parade Saturday, riding with Daly in an Indy 500 Corvette pace car. She joined Leavitt before the race in a salute to the military, riding around the track with service members from all branches.

“The parade was the highlight,” Stillwell said. “I got to sit with Conor and get to know him. He is an outstanding individual. We got to see a lot of the fans and see the patriotism that is the Indy 500. It was pretty awesome.”

She said the racing teams and the Air Force have many parallels.

“The partnership with Team Andretti and the fact they correlate the precision and the teamwork it takes to execute the Indy 500 is similar to what we do in the Air Force,” the pilot said. “That was a real learning point for me to see how much we correlate and how similar we are. I learned a ton while I was here.”

The Indy 500 highlighted the military throughout the weekend and respectfully honored Memorial Day. The Air Force Heritage Flight performed a flyover before the race with a four-plane formation of an F-16 Fighting Falcon, P-51 Mustang, P-40 Warhawk and an A-10 Thunderbolt II. The A-10 and F-16 broke off and raced around the track using minimum radius turns. Finally, the F-16 ended the flyover with a maximum climb departure that sent the crowd into a roaring cheer.

“The Indy 500 is an iconic American event and has a tradition of being run on Memorial Day weekend,” Andretti said. “I think it’s so fitting because it allows us to use the largest racing stage to help honor the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: #Teamwork + #Partners = Success! U.S. & German Air Force #JTACs teamed up to call in close air support during exercise #a
Twitter
Night flying exercises provide @48FighterWing aircrew & support personnel the experience needed to maintain a ready… https://t.co/5N20mfHOh3
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: .@505th_CCW Shadow Operations Center-Nellis participated in the most recent @usairforce Advanced Battle Management System (AB…
Twitter
The @AFResearchLab uses stimuli-responsive polymers for everything from soft robotic grippers to actuators. Called… https://t.co/ZfkMBa65FU
Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: Members of the 413th Test Flight at @TeamEglin, FL., tested three weapons for the HH-60W Jolly Green II. The training…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: I also framed her photo in my office at the pentagon...as a daily reminder of “why” I serve and to “whom” I serve. Ma…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Liz was a well known and loved member of Team Goodfellow. A photo of her was beautifully framed by my wingman, Chief T…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Team — this hits close to home with me. A1C Elizabeth Jacobson wasn’t just the first Security Forces Airman to die duri…
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: #AstralKnight 2020 is an Integrated Air & Missile Defense exercise that enhances regional security with our @NATO partners…
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Johnson brothers ARTs of maintenance missions (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveReady #ReserveResilient #ReadyAF https://…
Twitter
RT @SpaceForceCSO: On this Gold Star Mother’s & Family Day…we remember. We remember those who have fallen in service to our great nation. W…
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: To wear the Gold Star button means a military family member has lost a loved one in uniform. On this #GoldStarMothersDay
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: A Gold Star Family is the immediate family member(s) of a fallen service member who died while serving in a time of con…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Wingmen — Since 1936, our nation has recognized the last Sunday of September as Gold Star Mother’s Day. In 2011, we inc…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The U.S. is safe because of the men & women, supported by strong and courageous families, who volunteer to protect it. T…
Twitter
A USAF KC-135 Stratotanker, F-15C Eagles, F-15E Strike Eagles, & Royal Saudi Air Force F-15SAs fly over Saudi Arabi… https://t.co/hKfSBTpFmJ
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Today, on #GoldStarMothersDay and #GoldStarFamiliesDay, we recognize those who have lost loved ones in the defense of fr…
Twitter
September is #SuicidePreventionMonth. Lt. Col. Joel Foster from Kadena Air Base's Mental Health Clinic details th… https://t.co/srdf83pS8g
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,284,105
Follow Us