USPS gives 100th-anniversary Indy 500 stamp of approval

The 2011 USPS first-class stamp bearing the stylized image of the Marmon Wasp, designed to honor the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 (Photo: IMS Photo/Ron McQueeney)

Courtesy of IMS PR

The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 will be honored on a United States Postal Service commemorative stamp that will go on sale in May 2011.

The Indianapolis 500 is one of 25 subjects highlighted in the USPS 2011 Commemorative Stamp Program, which was unveiled Dec. 28. The stamp will be a "Forever Stamp," always equal in value to the current First Class Mail 1-ounce letter regardless of price changes in the future.

Award-winning illustrator John Mattos created the stylized, art deco illustration of Ray Harroun driving the Marmon "Wasp," winner of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911, on the Indianapolis 500 Forever Stamp. Text along the bottom of the stamp reads "Indianapolis 500," with small type along the bottom of the stamp opposite the year 2011 reads "100 YEARS OF RACING."

"It's a great honor for the Indianapolis 500 to be featured on a United States Postal Service stamp," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. "The stamp recognizes the "500" as a vital part of American culture and is a wonderful addition to our celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the race in 2011."

The USPS receives thousands of suggestions annually to honor various subjects on postage stamps, with the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee recommending 20 to 25 subjects for final approval by the Postmaster General. Stamp subjects must stand the test of time, reflect the cultural diversity of the United States and have broad national appeal.

This is the second time the Marmon "Wasp" has been featured on a U.S. postage stamp. The car also was highlighted as a 17.5-cent stamp in the Transportation series in 1987.

The 2011 Indianapolis 500, "The Most Important Race in History," is scheduled for Sunday, May 29, 2011 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

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