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“It’s so hard to convey how special it is.” 

Aaron Likens is a man who has been seen by the world during the Greatest Spectacle of Racing, in charge of one of the most crucial jobs of a race. You may not recognize his name or even his face, but you’ve witnessed his work on the flagstand as the chief starter of the Indy 500.

Likens stopped by the Hammer and Nigel show to talk about not just his dream job, but how he got there.

In his new book, Playing in Traffic My Journey from an Autism Diagnosis to the Indy 500 Flagstand Liken shares his story of learning how to deal with his asperges diagnosis as a young adult. He explains at the time of his diagnosis there was hardly any resources to help those with autism. However, through the doubts and confusion he leaned into something he had always found comfort in, motor sports.

Years of working his way up his dedication, talent, and passion has brought him to where he is today: the flagstand. Likens is now the chief starter of not just the Indy 500, but all NTT IndyCar Series races.

You may think that when a person has such a special unique COOL job the best perks would be meeting celebrities or being on tv, but not for Liken. He told Hammer and Nigel that the best part of his job happens moments after the last lap.

“Everybody is cheering as they cross the line and then there is this momentary silence as everybody looks at the screen for the time and then that collective roar from the crowd…just chills.” 

Likens’ infectious passion for the sport reminds us all how special the Indy 500 really is.

Check out Aaron’s newest book here.

Be sure to listen to our full conversation with Aaron below: