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Indy fans, start your party! Fans flock to IMS for Indy 500 – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-05-29 03:15:08 –

Indianapolis (AP) — Joe Waggle had Jack and Cork — “I already drank a few glasses of beer” — close …

Indianapolis (AP) — Joe Waggle had Jack and Cork — “I was already drinking a few glasses of beer” — Near his bare chest, another shirtless fan Wearing American flag overalls, I was preparing for my party return at the Indianapolis 500.

Wagle says he’s from Terre Haute, an hour’s drive west of Indianapolis, and has been to the Indy 500 more than 10 times. Like many other athletes, he raced with his father as a kid, and since then has camped in the vast infields of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and raced in the noisy snake pits. did.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are gathering together to celebrate their freedom and have a good time,” he said. “The race is great. It’s a good old Midwestern fun.”

The traditional decoration of Carbohydrate Day, a sentimental part of the Indianapolis 500 folklore, wasn’t on Friday because of the pandemic. The concert has been cancelled. The autograph session has been abolished. Indy braked in the pit crew competition. Snakepit is still hibernating.

Few fans were concerned. They are back in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.

Last year, a race fan who was banned from the speedway packed his luggage in a cooler box and boarded a well-prepared Indy. IMS gathered a large crowd last weekend, comparable to the large one seen in the 100th race in 2016. An event that has happened around the world since the pandemic broke out 18 months ago.

Everyone asked said they felt safe on the truck and that normal precautions were taken throughout the IMS. IndyCar had a sign asking for proof of vaccination before entering the garage or pit.

Through a vaccination involving more than 90,000 people on the Speedway itself, Speedway and IndyCar owner Roger Penske received an IMS permit to allow 40% attendance. Fan masks follow the same path as carburetors, and since 1963, IndyCar has had no carburetors. However, three packs of IMS covers were sold at the merchandising store for $ 25. There’s also a $ 28 hat for sale with the slogan “A place where tradition doesn’t stop.”

Not quite.

Due to the pandemic, 500 spectators postponed last August were not allowed, so all liquor and whistles were removed from the event and instead many fans threw socially distant parties at home. ..

1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti said on Friday, “Last year was the worst year I’ve ever had.” “The morning of the race was creepy. The car was on the grid and the soul was everywhere. I didn’t have it. I was interviewed on the 6th floor and turned down and thought, “What a hell, I can’t wear any more.”

The number of new coronavirus cases across the United States has fallen to a rate that has not been seen for more than 11 months, thanks to vaccination campaigns that have reduced both severe COVID-19 cases and virus spread. A masked IMS ambassador walked around with a tennis racket-sized sign and called on fans to “wear a face cover.” The signs were mostly ignored. Fans seemed more relaxed, even those who tried to party in the middle of the February Daytona 500 pandemic, or even the more modest celebrations at the Kentucky Derby.

Some people came in costumes.

Steve Willard of Boulder, Colorado, who participated in the 26th Indy 500, and his friend Kevin Messick wore Sheikh N Bake’s firefighting suit after losing a bet in a match between Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.

“Will you grow up or go home?” Willard said.

Willard said he would leave his outfit at home when watching the race from the paddock’s penthouse on Sunday.

Joe Schnieders and his friend Jenny Shorter worked as beer can umbrella designers and messed with the right structures until Friday afternoon.

“I missed the opportunity to make it easier to drink,” Schneiders said. “It’s the first time I’ve used a practical beer can.”

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