Grey's Anatomy heartthrob Patrick Dempsey competes in the Rolex Grand American Sports Car Series. Dempsey was also a co-owner of Vision Racing along with former Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO and IRL founder Tony George. Vision ceased operation earlier this year but has entered a partnership with Panther Racing to field a car for Ed Carpenter in the Indy 500.
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Gable played Indy 500 driver Mike Brannan in To Please a Lady (1950) with Barbara Stanwyck. It was filmed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and included race footage from the Indy 500. Gable struck up a friendship with then Speedway owner Tony Hulman and regularly attended the race.
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The famed film actress is married to 2007 Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti. The two began dating in the late 1990s and were married on Dec. 12, 2001. They form one of auto racing's most well-known couples.
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The actress from Dale, Indiana gained fame as Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch. She traditionally sings God Bless America before the Indianapolis 500 and is a close, personal friend of the Hulman-George Family -- owners of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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Known for his role as Brandon Walsh on "Beverly Hills 90210," Jason Priestley was once an aspiring IndyCar racer, competing in the Firestone Indy Lights Series. However, his racing career came to a sudden end when he suffered a head injury in a crash at Kentucky Speedway in 2002. Priestley went on to make a full recovery and became a team owner with Rubicon Racing and now with the FAZZT Race Team that features driver Alex Tagliani.
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The actor known for his roles as Brett Maverick and Jim Rockford also starred in the 1966 motion picture Grand Prix . Garner did his own driving in the film and became heavily involved in racing. He owned American International Racers (AIR) from 1967-69 and fielded cars at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring. Garner regularly attended practice, qualifying and race days at the Indy 500 and drove the Pace Car in 1975, 1977 and 1985.
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Late Show host and Indianapolis native David Letterman grew up as an avid fan of the Indy 500. While at NBC as host of Late Night with David Letterman , he struck up a friendship with Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. In 1996, Letterman became part of Team Rahal, and Rahal Letterman Racing was born in 2004. Rahal Letterman driver Buddy Rice won that year's Indianapolis 500.
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Starring in one of the greatest racing films ever made, Steve McQueen left his mark in 1971's Le Mans. The movie was filmed during the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans. McQueen planned on driving a Porsche 917 in the race with Jackie Stewart but the entry was rejected. So instead the movie features racing scenes of drivers Jo Siffert and Brian Redman. Aside from dabbling in auto racing, McQueen was also an avid motorcyclist.
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Jim Nabors, who gained fame as "Gomer Pyle," has been part of Hoosier tradition, singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" before the Indianapolis 500 for more than 30 years -- more than any other celebrity.
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The bassist of KISS is more than a rock star. As owner of Simmons Abramson Marketing Simmons helped promote and market various programs involving the IndyCar Series utilizing the slogan "I am Indy" as the series anthem.
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The legendary actor first became involved with IndyCar when he played Frank Capua in 1968's Winning . Newman's cinematic foray into racing would be the beginning of a successful sports car career, as he won two SCCA Trans Am races. In 1984, Newman teamed with Carl Haas to form Newman/Haas Racing. The actor was a loyalist to the CART Series and stayed away from the Indianapolis 500 for years over the creation of the Indy Racing League, which began competition in 1996. Newman was overjoyed when IndyCar became "unified" in February 2008.
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In 1991, comedian Bill Cosby put "Fat Albert" aside and became a vital force behind African-American driver Willy T. Ribbs' Indy 500 effort. Cosby was part of an IndyCar team that included team owner Derrick Walker and Sam Belnavis. Ribbs became the first Black driver in the Indianapolis 500 competing in 1991 and finishing 32nd. In 1993 the Cosby-led Ribbs entry started 30th and finished 21st at Indy.
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