SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) – As the Indy 500 gets closer, excitement builds along Main Street and in the Speedway neighborhoods.
After a year-long hiatus from fans, it feels like Speedway is back and a little closer to normal even with reduced capacity.
This year marks the 26th race in a row for Paul Spaeth and his wife Julie.
Their honeymoon in the South Pacific 25 years ago wasn’t enough to keep them out, and they weren’t allowed on the track last year either. They flew in from Denver to sit outside and hear the engines.
“There are no words to describe it, it’s a magical weekend,” said Spaeth. “There are 52 weekends a year but there is only one weekend on the track and we are ready for it.”
Technically, that’s only partially true.
You flew to qualifying on Friday and will fly back on Sunday to return to the race on Friday. So it’s really a two-weekend affair.
“Oh yeah, it takes a couple of days to recover from this weekend and prepare for the next week,” said Spaeth.
Veronica Shook lives in the fourth generation on the speedway.
“Oh, it’s exciting; It’s nice to have people in the neighborhood again, ”she said.
Shook’s grandparents rented their basement to drivers and crews 50-60 years ago. She missed the excitement and camaraderie of the past year.
“Racing was in our family,” she said. “Being here and not having any racing cars, not having a crowd, was kind of sad. Having it in August didn’t feel like it. “
Your home participates in the 500 Spectacle of Homes, an inverted parade with 33 drivers visiting 33 homes.
Shook and her mother landed on a topic of milk and cows that could be described as “udder impressive”.
Four puffed up cows, black and white, run around the bricks on the sidewalk of their home. An inflated cow wears a dress like a 500 festival princess. There is a bottle of milk on a nearby table.
Tony Kanaan’s number 48 cow displaces Scott Dixon’s number 9 with just a snout and sunglasses.
There’s no announcement yet as to where the Spectacle of Homes parade will end, but Shook hopes to be one of the locations.
“I do; I hope Tony Kanaan comes along,” she said with a laugh.
While the spectacle may be a one-off event, the food and friends are big draws in keeping the tradition alive for Spaeth, not to mention the drinks.
“Landed 20 minutes ago, already had a beer,” he said, holding up his can. “If we walk down the speedway it will be a great weekend to continue our tradition.”