SportsIndy 500


One man's trash is another man's treasure, especially for volunteers cleaning IMS

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Posted at 11:40 AM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-30 14:01:14-04

INDIANAPOLIS — After the greatest spectacle in racing comes the greatest clean-up in racing.

Thousands of cans, wrappers and even coolers were left behind at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway leaving quite the mess on Monday.

Many non profits come out and turn that trash into treasure, including students from the Wabash area.

PHOTOS | Indy 500 trash — You won't believe what people left behind

Athletes from Southwood High School in Wabash cleaned up the aftermath from Sunday's big event.

The athletic director tells WRTV they've been doing this for about 12 years now and he said it's a big moneymaker for the athletic department.

“Seriously like this is a lot of trash like it’s kind of ridiculous,” Grace Drake, a sophomore at Southwood, said.

She said the job is gross, disgusting and sometimes funny.

“It is funny when we find like unopened things. Like we just found an unopened bag of M&MS so I'm like do I want to eat that?” Drake said.

“It's a fundraiser for us,” Tom Finicle, the athletic director said.

They’ve been cleaning the grandstands at Turn 2 for 12 years.

“It teaches our kids a lot of great things we learn how to work together we learn how to work period we see who's a harder worker who's not a very hard worker,” Finicle said.

By the end of the day, they are covered in sweat and left-over beer, but they said if they do a good enough job they don’t have to do any other fundraisers.

“No, it's not fun, but we're putting on some good work getting some money so that's all it matter,” Cole Winer, a senior at Southwood, said.

“We get graded by how clean our section is that's and then we get a grade 100% or 90% or whatever. We always try to strive for 100 and we've been very fortunate to have kids that are conscientious enough that we've gotten 100 so hopefully this year we hold,” Finicle said.

If you are interested in working at the track next year for you non-profit click here.