Pagenaud to be honored with day-long celebration

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INDYCAR will honor 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud with a daylong event Tuesday in downtown Indianapolis culminating in the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Celebration at the Hilbert Circle Theatre.

Monument Circle in the city center will buzz with INDYCAR activity throughout the day. 

Team transporters will line the south side of the circle beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET, along with the Indy cars of Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi, winner of the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in May. Also on display will be the Astor Cup, the trophy presented annually to the Verizon IndyCar Series champion since 2011, and the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy featuring the likeness of every Indianapolis 500 winner.

At noon, the first 250 fans are invited to enjoy a free lunch on the circle, provided by Qdoba Mexican Eats and hosted by Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The transporter display will remain open to the public throughout the afternoon.

Verizon IndyCar Series drivers will begin walking the red carpet at 5 p.m. to enter the Hilbert Circle Theatre, site of the awards ceremony with a capacity crowd expected. Fans unable to attend the Championship Celebration are invited to gather on the circle to watch their favorite drivers and other VIPs arrive.

Pagenaud, the Team Penske driver who won five races to wrap up his first title, will be presented the $1 million champion's prize and the Astor Cup during the awards ceremony beginning at 6:45 p.m. It follows a 5:30 p.m. reception inside Hilbert Circle Theatre.

The IPL Building is lit up like the American flagAt dusk Tuesday, the IPL building on the circle (shown at left) will light up with Pagenaud's car No. 22. IPL is well-known in Indianapolis for its light displays, which celebrate holidays (such as the Fourth of July as pictured left), the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers and the city’s iconic professional athletes.

“IPL is proud to celebrate the 2016 INDYCAR season champion by lighting up a window light display on our 10-story downtown headquarters,” said Rafael Sanchez, IPL president and CEO. “As a centerpiece of downtown, our window light displays support meaningful events and local organizations impacting lives here in Central Indianapolis.”

Pagenaud is excited to see it.

"The IPL building is right in the middle of all of the action in downtown Indianapolis on Monument Circle, and it's always so festive to see it lit up for holidays or big sporting events. To have the No. 22 up there will be awesome, especially on the night when I'll be celebrating such a special season with Team Penske at the Championship Celebration. I always feel so much support for the Verizon IndyCar Series whenever I'm in Indianapolis, and I can't wait to see this Tuesday night!"

INDYCAR will host Facebook Live chats with drivers and VIPs throughout the day's activities on Monument Circle. A live video stream of the Championship Celebration will be available on IndyCar.com and the INDYCAR Facebook page, beginning at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday.

From the fans