SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — A sea of race fans stepped toward Speedway history on Sunday.
Even with the crowd capped at 135,000, the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 was the largest sporting event in the world since the COVID-19 pandemic.
News 8 caught up with several fans after the race.
“There’s nothing like race day, there’s nothing like coming here. Indy 500 race day, nothing like it,” said Corey Chalfant, who has been going to the race for 15 years.
That was a feeling fans missed out on last year, but in 2021, they returned to the track.
“I was worried there wasn’t going to be enough people here, but it was great, and I thought they did a wonderful job and the race was outstanding,” said Steve Bates.
Marion County’s mask mandate was still in effect, along with other safety protocols in place, but for the most part, people say the track didn’t seem strict on enforcement.
“It looked like COVID never happened, everyone walking around with masks off, just enjoying a good time. No, it looked like it never happened,” said Chandler Oaks.
“There’s more like hand sanitizer, like washing your hands and stuff kind of like that, but I don’t feel like it was so forced that it made you uncomfortable,” said Kristalyn Manka.
Fans who talked to News 8 said they hope the loosened rules don’t create setbacks for future events, and they’re ready for the race to go back to full capacity.
“I think it’s going to be a good start to the year and the summer and hopefully we can just continue to push forward and enjoy stuff like this for the rest of the year,” said Kristalyn Manka.
Fans said noticed the biggest difference outside the track was less traffic than usual.