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Fans gather outside IMS for Brickyard 400’s Fourth of July weekend debut

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As a weekend of races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway comes to a close, not one fan can tell you what they saw from inside the track.

COVID-19 precautions may have kept fans out of the track, but the virus didn’t keep the diehards away.

Right on cue, a fan favorite every year, the traditional flyover on Sunday was more for the show than the fans this year.

The show was slighly delayed by the weather. Less than an hour before the start of the race, lightning was detected within 10 miles of the track, which prompted weather alerts on the big screens inside the track, instructing fans to seek shelter.

The dozen or so fans outside of Gate 7 were allowed to come inside the track and wait out the passing storm under the bleachers. Once the weather cleared, the crowd — such as it was — started to stake out their spots.

“Due to the COVID-19, things have changed around here,” said Barry Baker, while sitting in the back of his truck with his wife.

The Bakers have tickets for every race, live right around the corner from the track and would typically have a house full of friends this weekend.

“We miss them not showing up — the camaraderie and some of the festivities that takes place at the house — of course, the late nights,” Baker said, laughing.

Moving the Brickyard 400 to Independence Day weekend was supposed to energize the fan base and hopefully attract new fans to the event.

When the green flag dropped, it was only the fans along 16th Street.

Tyler Wiolde is one of those fans that would have been here regardless.

“This one is going to awesome once they open it back up,” said Wiolde.

The true test for the Brickyard 400 will come next year, when or if fans are allowed to attend.