‘The Club’ documentary premiere gathers Indy 500 winners

The living four-time winners of the Indy 500 gathered Thursday night in Indianapolis for the premiere of “Pennzoil presents The Club,” a documentary that will celebrate last year’s gathering of AJ Foyt, Al Unser, Rick Mears and Helio Castroneves.

“The Club” will be shown on NBC at 2 pm ET, Saturday May 14, just before the airing of the NTT IndyCar Series GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. A trailer of the feature is available here (or by clicking above).

Unser died Dec. 9 after a longtime battle with cancer, adding even more poignancy and significance to last summer’s historic meeting between the four drivers. It’s the only recorded conversation between the four four-time Indy 500 winners

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Foyt, Mears and Castroneves attended the documentary’s premiere in downtown Indianapolis.

“I’m speechless,” Castroneves said at the premiere about filming the documentary. “What an amazing opportunity to see some incredible drivers, excluding me. We talked so much. I was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe you guys are here and I’m just joining you guys.’ It was a truly special moment. And everyone is going to have the opportunity to see it, too.

The Meyer Shank Racing driver said he heard the story of Foyt providing Unser with an Indy 500 opportunity for the first time while recording “The Club.”

Mears said the filming was “a lot of fun,” though “it’s hard to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time because we’re all chatting with each other back and forth and giving each other a bad time.” IMS president J. Douglas Boles arranged for the secret sitdown of the four-time Indy 500 winners shortly after Castroneves’ record-tying victory. IMS Productions had a crew on hand for a meeting that took place in downtown Indianapolis and the famous Yard of Bricks at the fabled 2.5-mile oval.

“Doug set it up, and everything was great, relaxed and very comfortable,” Mears said. “Even though we’re in the same business, we don’t get together like that. You don’t get the opportunity with the calendars going in different directions. To be able to do that and get together without the race going on, to sit and chat and focus on what you’re doing there, it was a very special time. “

Said Foyt: “We’ve been together many a time, so it wasn’t much different. It was just like old times. It wasn’t like we hadn’t seen each other every year because we have. Just good times all of us talking. “

On May 29, Castroneves will try to become the race’s first five-time winner in the 106th Indy 500 with broadcast coverage beginning at 11 am ET on NBC.

“I love this sport,” Castroneves said. “I love IndyCar. I love to be here. I want to be competitive and continue showing what we can do. Last year was the beginning. … I’d love to break the record. Records are made to be broken. It would be nice to do something special. “

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AJ Foyt at the premiere of “The Club” in Indianapolis (Chris Owens / Penske Entertainment)

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