SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Some fans are doing their best to cope with not being able to watch car practice for the Indianapolis 500 in the last two days.
That hasn’t stopped many diehard racing fans from showing up outside the fence of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, even just to hear the sound of the cars running. Fans like Bret Tinnel, who tells WISH-TV he’s been coming to the race the last 27 years.
“Came to get my bronze badge exchanged and heard the cars and thought I’d sit and listen to them for a while,” he said sitting on a bench outside the main gate. “I’ll take what I can get.”
Maria Vanavken was nearby sitting with a friend in a lawn chair in one of the parking lots outside the south chute.
It’s definitely different,” she said. “Usually we’re on the other side of those gates, but I need the sound of those race cars!”
Fans are not allowed inside the race track this year to watch the cars turn laps because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is still trying to do what it can to give racing fans at least a taste of being at the track. They’ve set up a merchandise stand outside the south chute where people can come and by the stuff they want to remember the race this year. The hot ticket item: masks.
“It’s been a challenge for sure,” said IMS director of merchandise Jason Orton.”But, we’ve just been trying to do the best we can under the circumstances and allow our customers to still be able to get the merchandise they want.”
Tinnel said he is keeping his bronze badge from this year anyway, saying this will certainly be a year everyone will remember.