Indianapolis 500

Indy 500 fan uses vintage stopwatch to time cars at the track

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - There are just some people who embody Indianapolis and Kathleen Speicher is 100 percent Indy. Through the years, through the rain, traffic and even a pregnancy she made it to the race, every year, no matter what and this year's 500 will be Kathleen's 69th race in a row.

She started following racing with her dad and says he brought her to her first race in Terre Haute when she was only nine months old. By the time she was 10 and at the Indy 500 she was an expert in timing the cars and pit stops. Then there's the Stopwatch, a gift to her dad, which she still uses to time the cars, although the speeds today are too fast for the timer.  She records it all, collects everything and has the stories to back it all up.

Kathleen is friends with driver Duke Nalon and has chatted with racing legends like AJ Foyt, Kathleen says there's something infectious about being at the 500 she never wants to end.

"It's almost contagious," said Kathleen. "When you're there and in that crowd and you get that feeling you feel like everybody there is your friend. It's just blood pumping, get your blood pumping and makes you feel young just to be able to go." 

She has a brick from the track that 3 time Indy 500 winner Wilber Shaw had on his back patio during a time when she lived next door to Shaw in Carmel. In 1973 she took the pit times for the race and handed them to Tom Carnegie for him to announce. She also has almost every singe time sheet stored away in her collection.

Away from the track Kathleen remains active; she still has her medical license and practiced for more than 50 years and was a medical director. Tradition keeps her family together and says as long as she is physically able she will continue to go to the race every year. 

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