SportsIndy 500


Speedway locals, business owners eager about fans returning to Indy 500

Posted at 12:01 AM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 00:01:55-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Fans will be back at the Brickyard for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500. However, less than half of Indianapolis Motor Speedway's capacity will be allowed on race day, which means only 135,000 spectators.

It's an announcement fans and businesses in Speedway had been waiting for after last year's race in August, didn't have anyone in the stands.

"It's to us like Christmas is to every place else. Christmas in May," Connie Norton, The Main Attraction Antique Mall Owner, said She and her husband, Bill, have owned the place for 15 years. Their shop is filled with a slew of Indy 500 memorabilia ideal for a race fan looking for something specific or just wanting a piece of Indy 500 history.

Even though the couple understands why IMS is only allowing 40% of the track's capacity, they still hoped for more.

"We'll take what we can get but that's disappointing," Bill Norton said. "Mr. Penske had talked about 250,000 people but I'm just thankful that there's going to be anybody," Connie added.

"I think it's an excellent compromise to get a good number of fans there, bring fans into the city because it's a big revenue for the city and to also protect everybody's safety," Vince Kremer, a long time race fan said.

With around 33 years of Indy Car Racing experience, working for Roger Penske and the Indy Car Series, Kremer felt like the health of the community isn't the only thing that needs to be protected.

"There's 100+ years of history up there. Let's not ruin if we go there and have a big out break and it becomes a hot bed or triggering spot, it'd be harder to have more fans their next year," Kremer said.

That's something no one wants to see, especially the Norton's, who are looking forward to reconnecting with die hard fans who make it a point to stop in their shop.

"We like them all, we really do. We get a lot of enjoyment out of our race friends," Connie said.