The kickoff event at the Fashion Mall at Keystone.

With headquarters  in Indianapolis — the racing capital of the world — it’s no wonder that Simon Property Group developed a strong affinity for the sport. The 103th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26, has put the shopping center developer and operator into overdrive with a slate of racing-related initiatives at its Indianapolis-area properties.

At the Fashion Mall at Keystone on Wednesday Simon partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue to host a kickoff event for the big race. There was fashion, food and racing luminaries. Simon Pagenaud, the Team Penske driver and the 2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion, and IndyCar drivers Ed Carpenter, Spencer Pigot and Kyle Kaiser were among those in attendance. WWD is owned by Penske Media Corp.

Guests at Saks sampled dishes prepared by local chefs. It was a preview of the cuisine that will be served at Rev, an event that attracts about 3,000 enthusiasts, including Indy car drivers and racing legends, raising money for the trauma and critical care programs at Indiana University Health Emergency Medical Center at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

To fuel interest in the race, Simon, the Speedway, NTT IndyCar Series and Rev have launched a contest, asking shoppers to dress in white and black and racing checks, and share a photo of themselves on social media using the hashtags #500fashion and #pickme. Consumers can also visit one of Simon’s area centers to have their photos taken. Simon will give a VIP experience to the winner.

Simon, during the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016, worked with Saks to create a runway show at the Fashion Mall at Keystone.