Fort Wayne man attends his 33rd Indianapolis 500
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – A man from Fort Wayne attended his 33rd Indianapolis 500.
The 105th Indianapolis 500 returned with fans on Sunday after the pandemic prevented people from attending the race in 2020.
Managers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway limited capacity to 40 percent and hosted a sold-out crowd of 135,000 fans – the biggest sporting event since the start of the pandemic.
NBC News from Fort Wayne spoke with Brian Quick, an avid Indy 500 fan from Fort Wayne, before the race to understand what the event means to him.
“It’s beautiful,” Quick said. “It’s a big part of life, it’s being able to experience it.”
Quick told NBC News of Fort Wayne that he had attended the Indy 500 32 times since 1986. One of the two times he missed the race was last year when fans weren’t allowed to. attend due to pandemic restrictions.
Quick said his passion for the 500 started when he was 10 years old.
“I would jump out of the church for a little while, walk over to the car and turn on the radio to hear the start of the race,” Quick said. “And those first ten laps, because they have a reporter at every turn, and they keep telling what’s going on, how they’re doing on the third turn and etc. etc. Then everyone settles down. Then you have to go 500 miles. “
Five decades later, Quick’s passion for the Indy 500 is still alive. What fuels his fire is the hope of seeing one of his favorite pilots, Marco Andretti break the curse and drink milk on the way to victory.
“Every year is a new year. Every year you want that to happen, ”Quick said. “Every year there is a chance. 500 miles is so long. So many things can happen.”
Brian’s wife Dawn Quick told NBC News of Fort Wayne that she joined her husband nearly ten years ago after he sparked his passion in racing. Brian and Dawn have since said they have made it a family tradition to attend the race together.
She said one of her favorite parts of the Indy 500 was meeting other fans on the race track from all over the world.
“We meet people there every year,” said Dawn Quick. “We meet different people every year. People who have come from all over the world, not just this country to be there. And we’re so lucky to be so close. It just means it’s back home. . in Indiana. “
To go along with the Hoosier tradition is Brian’s “blue bag”.
Quick said he bought the blue bag on the racetrack almost 20 years ago. He fills the bag every year with his fan gear and brings it with him to the race track, Quick said.
“I’m a huge fan. It’s an annual tradition,” added Quick. “I hope this will be a tradition for years and years to come. I’m passionate about it (Indy 500). It’s part of who I am.”
At the end of the race, Helio Castroneves joined the exclusive four-time club Indianapolis 500 Winners.
Then Spiderman scaled the fence at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his celebration of winning the biggest sporting event since the start of the pandemic.
Castroneves was not yet finished. At 46 and one of the oldest pilots in the peloton, he sprinted along the front stretch of the fast lane saluting the 135,000 fans present. He was interrupted during his victory jog by several drivers and most of Team Penske, the organization with which he spent more than two decades and won three Indy 500s.
“I love Indianapolis! You don’t understand it! Fans, you give me energy, ”Castroneves said.