2012 Indy 500 Schedule: Race Week Festivities Begin Wednesday

The starting order for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 is set, and we're less than a week away from the big race. This week is packed with events at the track, beginning on Wednesday morning. The full schedule of the week's events is listed below. (All times Eastern.)

Wednesday, May 23 -- 500 Festival Community Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

11am - 500 Festival Community Day Pin Distribution, Pagoda Plaza

11am - Noon - Firestone Indy Lights Driver Autograph Session, Plaza Pavilion

12:30pm - 1:30pm - Indy 500 Autograph Session #1 Wristband Distribution, MotoGP Garage 36

1:30pm - 2:30pm - Indy 500 Autograph Session #1, Plaza Pavilion

2pm - 3pm - Indy 500 Autograph Session #2 Wristband Distribution, MotoGP Garage 36

3pm - 4pm - Indy 500 Autograph Session #2, Plaza Pavilion

3:30pm - 4:30pm - Indy 500 Autograph Session #3 Wristband Distribution, MotoGP Garage 36

4:30pm - 5:30pm - Indy 500 Autograph Session #3, Plaza Pavilion

Thursday, May 24 -- Practice/Qualifications for the Firestone Freedom 100

9am - Noon - Firestone Indy Lights Practice

1:15pm - 2:15pm - Firestone Indy Lights Qualifications Begin

2:30pm - 4pm - Vintage Car Laps

Friday, May 25 -- Miller Lite Carb Day

Featuring the Pit Stop Challenge, Firestone Freedom 100, Final Indianapolis 500 Practice and headlined by legendary rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

10:30am - Q&A with INDYCAR Crew Members, Coke Stage, Plaza

10:45am - Firestone Pin Distribution, Pagoda Plaza

11am - Practice Begins

Noon - Firestone Indy Lights Pre-Race Begins

12:30 - Firestone Freedom 100

1:35 - IZOD Performance Pit Stop Challenge

3:30 - Miller Lite Carb Day Concert Begins, Lynyrd Skynyrd

Saturday, May 26 -- Legends Day at the Indy 500 presented by Shell V-Power

Featuring a full field autograph session and the public drivers meeting.

9am - 10am - Autograph Session

9am - 4pm - Indianapolis 500 Memorabilia Show - Plaza Pavilion

9:20am - 10:20am - Vintage Racing On-Track

10:30am - Public Drivers Meeting

1:00pm - Indianapolis 500 Veterans Autograph Session "A" Begins (Drivers TBA)

3:00pm - Indianapolis 500 Veterans Autograph Session "B" Begins (Drivers TBA)

5:00pm - Gates Close

Sunday, May 27 -- The 96th Running of The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race

7am - Snake Pit Opens

8:30am - Parade of Bands

9:25am - Cars Begin To Enter Pit Lane

9:30am - 500 Festival Princesses Lap

9:55am - All Cars To Pit Lane

10:15am - Cars Begin To Grid On Track

10:40am - All Cars In Place On Grid

10:50am - Engine Warm-up

11:00am - Vintage Car Lap

11:00am - Indianapolis 500 Pre-Race Begins

11:10am - Military Tribute Lap

11:30am - Driver Introductions

Noon - 96th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the 2012 Indy 500, head over to Indy racing blog Pop Off Valve.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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