500 Festival Princess follows in mother’s footsteps


Marin Davis has grown up with deep appreciation for the Indianapolis 500 and Month of May events.

“I grew up going to the race and spending time around the track,” the Zionsville Community High School graduate said. “It’s been a big tradition in my family. My (maternal) grandpa started it and he’s been going to every race since 1967. It’s been such a fun family tradition.”

Davis is one of the 33 women selected to participate in the 500 Festival Princess Program. She was quite familiar with the program, too, as her mother, Jennifer Lew Davis, was a Princess in 1993.

“She is definitely the one who encouraged me to apply,” Davis said. “It’s always been something that I wanted to do, but she really helped me get over my fear of applying and having to go through a bit of a strenuous process at first with applying and interviewing. There are so many extremely amazing and accomplished girls that try out for this program.”

Her mother was also a sophomore at Purdue when she was a Princess.

“I’m really, really excited to just experience it from this perspective,” Davis said. “We got to meet two drivers (last month) and that’s been really cool for me as a fan of IndyCar. I’ve really enjoyed getting to be able to hear all these different perspectives from people.”

Davis is majoring in political science at Purdue and plans to go into pre-law.

Davis’ mentor is J.J. Nelson, executive director for Indiana for Delta Dental, which serves as a sponsor of the 500 Festival 5K.

“It’s been a great experience to meet with him and texting with him and his wife,” she said. “It’s a really valuable connection to have and something that I think is really special about the program. I’m grateful that they give their time to me.”