Friday, May 25, 2018


Driver James Hinchcliffe and longtime publicist/journalist Michael Knight were honored with traditional Indy 500 awards Friday in a ceremony at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media center.
 Hinchcliffe was announced as recipient of the Jigger Award, presented by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, to an Indy 500 competitor who experiences misfortune/bad luck. Hinchcliffe, who survived near-fatal injuries in a 2015 practice session accident at IMS only to return a year later and win the pole position, didn’t qualify for Sunday’s 102d running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

The award is named for Jigger Sirois, who missed being the pole winner in 1969 when his crew waved-off a qualifying run which would have been the only one completed before rain prevented any more track activity. Under rules then in effect, Sirois would have been on the pole, but never did qualify for the race. Sirois accepted the award for Hinchcliffe.
Knight accepted the Angelo Angelopolous Award, given since 1963 “to the 500 Mile Race Participant Who Best Exemplifies the Creed of Good Sportsmanship.” Angelopolous was an Indianapolis News writer who loved the 500 and fair play and sportsman-like acts.

Knight covered the race for the Philadelphia Daily News before a quarter-century career as a publicist for CART and numerous drivers and teams, including the Newman/Haas, Treadway, Robby Gordon and Sam Schmidt teams and drivers such as Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Arie Luyendyk and Gordon. In recent years he’s reported for the Arizona Republic. He is a lifetime member of the 500 Oldtimers and is attending his 40th Indy 500, which he said will likely be his last.