INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Hours after the race ended, many fans had a long wait ahead of them to get home, plus a storm to navigate.
But first, they enjoyed the race.
“Great race,” said John Rombach. “It was competitive, lots of passing. I mean there were a lot of times we had to sit down because we’d been standing so much.”
Fans were on the lookout for one lead change after another and crashes, like Scott Dixon’s early airborne accident in turn one.
“That one with Scott Dixon was incredible,” said race fan Dan Kuhn. “The scariest one I think I’ve ever seen out of all my years here.”
Kuhn would know. He’s been to 39 Indy500 races.
He believes Dixon being able to walk away from the crash is proof how much engineering has improved since he first started going to the race 40 years ago.
“It’s amazing,” said Kuhn. “It’s a testament to the building of and how safe they are.”
Through it all, Kuhn, Rombach and other fans waited for rain they expected would dampen the mood of the 101st running.
It did storm eventually, but not until after everyone was headed home.
“We’re still waiting it out,” said David Hutchens as he sat under an overhang with friends. “We got dumped on. We were trying to get home. Obviously not happening.”
Many others were caught under the storm clouds. Those who didn’t bike or have a close parking spot, were waiting at the Uber station when the storm hit. Already contending with long lines, surging fares and canceled rides, the storm was just another hit.
It also made the traffic Uber drivers were trying to get through worse, as intersection lights stopped working and more cars crashed.
On the other hand, some felt it was a sign that the thunderstorm didn’t start until after Takuma Sato crossed the finish line.
“I’m glad God, you know, gave us a great day with racing,” said John Rombach. “With a great competitive race, a lot of racers, coming to the top here at the end, it was awesome seeing a lot of racers competing at the front of the field.”