An eventful 30 days of May heading into the 105th Traditional running of the Indianapolis 500 are in the hopes and prayers of Open Wheel race fans worldwide. 170,000 race fans have purchased their tickets for race day, and as of now, Penske is planning on happy days at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and would like to see 225,000 people there; a full house.
“There will be fans at this year’s Indianapolis 500, Penske said Monday, but how many remains a moving target based on COVID-19 restrictions. More than 170,000 tickets already have been sold for the May 30 race, ” The AP reported that Penske said.
His first Indy 500 as the owner of the historic property was held in front of empty grandstands last year. Hopefully, that won’t happen again this year for this legend of racing and the eager fans.
“We’re not making any predictions at all because anything I would say today could be completely wrong,” Penske said. “Our goal is to have 250,000. I mean, that’s what we want to have. It’s outside. We’ve got the biggest stadium in the world here, and it’s a matter of where we’re going to be with the CDC and the governor and the mayor, so I don’t have any number that I’d want to hang my hat on.”
Penske, the current owner of the Indianapolis 500, has several racing awards, has 18 team victories, and was also awarded the Medal of Freedom by his friend President Donald J. Trump.
” This prestigious award is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, which may be awarded by the President to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. Roger S. Penske is a well-known American success story. Guided by his father’s favorite phrase, “effort equals results,” Mr. Penske built his one-car dealership into Penske Corporation, a leader in global transportation services. On the track, Mr. Penske built and led Team Penske into the most successful motorsports team in history. Mr. Penske’s passion and unrelenting drive have established him as a business and motorsports icon,” Fox News reported.
“The good news is we’re going to have a race on Memorial Day this year, which is exactly what we want, not have to wait until August,” he said. “And then, of course, we come back with the Brickyard. The Brickyard will be everybody running on the road course, which will be terrific.
Race fans know about getting back to the brickyard; it is a right of passage that we need.
How many bricks did it take to pave the 2.5 mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
It took 3.2 million! The bricks were laid down in 1909 to upgrade the surface of crushed rock and tar. Today, one yard of the iconic bricks remains at the start/finish line. @IMS #Indy500 pic.twitter.com/kYFcw6XZMD
— Borg-Warner Trophy® (@BorgTrophy) March 10, 2021
The current state positivity rate in Indiana is 3.1 percent over the past week. It’s not clear what the positivity number of vaccination percentage would need to be for Penske to get the ‘all-clear’ to host a full capacity Indianapolis 500. Still, his company is doing its best to be good stewards for the community by hosting a vaccination site.
Penske says on a zoom that 170-k tickets are accounted for the #Indy500. Says a final spectator count will be determined with local and state officials in late April and is unsure yet if more tickets will be opened up for purchase.