INDIANAPOLIS — Last year’s Indianapolis 500 was delayed and fans were not allowed inside due to the pandemic, so this year means even more to race fans.
Friday was cloudy and rainy, but that did not slow race fans down.
“I'm so glad we can be back this year. It’s just wonderful,” Scott Wright said.
Wright lives in St. Paul, Minnesota and travels to Indianapolis for the 500 every year.
“This is great. It always is. We come every year," he said. "We enjoy the heck out of it. It doesn’t matter what the weather is, we make ourselves comfortable in our little camping set up."
He said he has made lifelong friends in the parking lot and they all get together for the 500 each year.
The people at the Indianapolis 500 are what makes this weekend so special for Speedway residents too.
"It's fun meeting everybody, finding out where they're from,” Jim Elliott, a Speedway resident, said.
Elliott lives right near the track. People who live in the area say they usually make a couple thousand dollars during race week by opening their yard as a place for people to park and camp.
Elliott said the money they make race weekend is nice, but that is not why he does it. He said he likes meeting people and helping them celebrate race weekend. He says he’s had people come from all across the county, and once even had someone from Australia.
The Indianapolis 500 will be the biggest gathering in the country since the start of the pandemic.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be operating at 40% capacity this year, meaning around 135,000 fans can attend the race.