Indianapolis 500 debuts blue jackets for former, future champions

Indianapolis 500 winners, including 2019 champion Simon Pagenaud, traditionally douse themselves with milk after finishing first, but now they also will receive a blue jacket. File Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI

May 24 (UPI) -- Indianapolis 500 winners will join sports jacket lore, not with Masters green, Pro Football gold or Basketball Hall of Fame orange, but with dark blue threads, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Friday.

"Indianapolis Motor Speedway is pleased to have commissioned the special Indy 500 winner jacket, which celebrates membership in the most elite of motorsports clubs, the club of Indianapolis 500 champions," the track announced on social media.

"Today on the Yard of Bricks, the winners were presented with their jackets."

The 2024 Indianapolis 500 will be run at 12:45 p.m. EDT Sunday in Indianapolis. The 108th edition of the race will air on NBC.

The speedway posted a photo of 24 former champions wearing the jacket while on the track, posing next to the Borg-Warner Trophy.

Drivers will circle the 2 1/2-mile track 200 times during the 500-mile race. Josef Newgarden is the defending champion, while Scott McLaughlin won the pole.

NASCAR star Kyle Larson also will compete in the race. He then plans to fly to Concord, N.C., to race in the Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 the same night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Larson, Will Power and Pato O'Ward join McLaughlin and Newgarden as favorites to win the 2024 Indianapolis 500.

Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. will be the honorary pace car driver. Actor Dylan Sprouse will serve as grand marshal. Jordan Sparks will sing the national anthem.