INDIANAPOLIS- — Becky Lilge and Jessica Molsen sit in their Indianapolis home and think back on what the Indy 500 means to them. Jessica is Becky’s niece.
“Breathtaking, the events, the introduction, the neighbors, the parades, the race itself,” Becky Lilge said
Becky and her husband know the sights and sounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for quite some time – their first race together was in 1969.
“I was nine years old — so he would have been 11 — and we hung out in the first turn before there were bleachers,” Lilge said.
Molsen started her Indy 500 traditions just a few years later – and it’s a day they haven’t missed in more than 20 years.
“First of all, the Indy 500 for my dad wasn’t just a day, it was a week-long event, he planned his entire week-long vacation around it,” Molsen said.
From eating turkey and bacon sandwiches at the track - to taking pre-race naps Becky and Jessica remember it all.
“It’s just great," Lilge said. "The chills that you get from being back home again in Indiana and I usually cry."
Fast forward to October of 2020 – Jessica lost her mom and her dad nearly 50 days apart.
“So, my dad would always buy tickets in advance so last year his tickets came in the mail and so I donated them to a nurse,” Molsen said.
It’s a family tradition that will now carry on for generations.
“I have sons and a daughter that will probably like to go experience that someday and it will be amazing to be able to share with them the memories that my dad had there,” Molsen said.