NASCAR to honor Indianapolis doctor at Real Heroes 400

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INDIANAPOLIS —Race day is back this Sunday and it’s going to be a special one.

NASCAR is honoring health care workers during the “Real Heroes 400” and one of the grand marshals happens to be from central Indiana.

 Dr. Benjamin Petty grew up in Indianapolis and listening to the roaring sounds come out of IMS. 

“May for me is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and it has been forever!” Emergency Medicine Physician at IU Health West Hospital Dr. Petty explained.

Dr. Petty has also been lucky enough to work as a physician at the track, but the month of May is different this year.

Instead of him seeing the race fandom spread, Dr. Petty has seen COVID-19 spread. It’s been infecting and killing thousands of Hoosiers.

“It’s literally affected every part of my job and my life,” Dr. Petty said.

He’s been on the front lines battling coronavirus since the beginning. He has spent more time taking care of sick patients at IU Health West in Avon and less with his family.

“We don’t really view ourselves as heroes. This is a job that we signed up for and no one is going to run away from this just because something scary is happening,” Dr. Petty said.

NASCAR does see him as a hero. He’s being honored at the race in South Carolina. His name will be placed on the car of Indiana’s own Ryan Newman. 

“He has his own redemption story. He had a really bad accident earlier this year before the pandemic happened, so this is his first race back,” Dr. Petty said.

Dr. Petty is honored and excited for the race.  You can watch the race on FOX59, with coverage starting Sunday at 2 p.m.

Dr. Petty is off work Sunday and plans to gather with his family and watch the big race.

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