SPEEDWAY — With only a few more days to go until the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500, it's a welcoming return for many race fans after the pandemic drastically changed last year's race.
This year, 135,000 fans will be allowed in the stands and many others will be in Speedway to watch. Jessica Crooke is one of them.
"We are going on 17 years of living here in Speedway and that's 17 years of race weekends and Carb Days," Crooke said.
Crooke many Month of May memories, with the pictures to prove it of the last nearly two decades. It helped her get through last year's Indianapolis 500.
"Last year in Speedway was so sad and depressing," she said.
To cheer herself up, she made a video montage and shared it with her friends and family, showing all the good times they've had.
It was also special for Crooke to see her kids grow up over the last 17 years that they now have their own special relationship with the Indy 500.
"We would go over all day and they would spend the day, qualification days, running around and eating frozen lemonades, going crazy. Then, they got to the preteen years and it wasn't that much fun for them," Crooke explained. "Now, they re 22 and 18 and it's like when can we head over to the track. It's fun again. They're 100% full circle now."
She got a taste of what's to come during the Indy 500 qualifying this past weekend.
"The atmosphere just last weekend was electric with people coming down for qualification."
Home after home in Crooke's neighborhood, including her own, have their checkered flags out billowing in the wind, ready for Race Day. Some even went all out moreso than others, but everyone taking part share the same spirit: Their love for the Indianapolis 500 and what it means to their town-- Speedway.
"We're truly proud of the tradition of Speedway and we make the most of it. We enjoy it. We love May and we love having the people here," Crooke said.