Following are some reactions from the AJ Foyt Racing team on today’s decision to hold the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 without fans in attendance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With health and safety being the top priority, the difficult decision was reached in partnership with state and city health officials and leaders.
A.J. Foyt: “I’ve seen a lot of changes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but I never thought I’d see the race run without fans. I know it had to be a really tough decision for Roger (Penske) to make and it was the right one for this time. I’ll miss seeing the fans because I think I have a lot of fans in Indy and they were the reason I kept coming back here when I got hurt. It’s a real shame that they can’t be here this year but I think they will be here in spirit. And I look forward to seeing them back here next year when things get back to normal.”
Larry Foyt (President, AJ Foyt Racing): “Is 2020 over yet? Seriously though, this is the right thing to do. I can’t imagine the incredible amount of work IMS and INDYCAR have put into making this race safely happen. Even still, the pandemic has created an environment that it’s just not right to have 75,000 people in one venue, even if it is as large as IMS. I’m thankful we are still able to have the race. Hopefully we will put on a great show for the NBC audience, and have everyone even more excited to come back in 2021.”
Tony Kanaan (No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet): “I have a lot of mixed feelings about it. I think deep inside we always race the majority of the times because of the fans. They’re the ones – especially for me at Indy —they’re the most important thing. Obviously we had to make a decision and I think it’s the safest one but it’s sad, it’s just so sad. The whole world is sad right now. But we’ll get through it. Hopefully everyone will be watching the Indy 500 on TV and cheering as loudly as they would at the race track. But…that makes me wonder—I don’t think this should be my last Indy 500.”
Dalton Kellett (No. 41 K-Line Insulators Chevrolet): “The fans are central to the Indy 500 experience and its history, it won’t be the same this year without them. Public and fan safety have been central to the decision making process, for IndyCar and IMS, all season. This hard call is the right one. As a rookie, I am excited and honored to take part in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, even though it won’t be the traditional experience. We know the race is going to be exciting and NBC will put together an engaging broadcast. I’ll be working hard to give some extra ‘behind-the-scenes’ moments on social, hopefully doing a small part to bring you with us on race day.”
Charlie Kimball (No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet): “We all – teams, drivers, owners – will miss having fans at the Indy 500 this year. But keeping our community safe is the most important thing. And making the hard decision is the sign of great leadership, which gives me confidence for the future of the Indy 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
Fans will be able to keep up with all the action on the team’s and drivers’ social media platforms as well as the NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold platforms. Visit IMS.com or INDYCAR.com for a comprehensive streaming and broadcast schedule.
The 104th Running of the Indy 500 will take place Sunday, Aug. 23, with national coverage beginning on NBC at 1 p.m. ET.
Local Central Indiana coverage of the race will be available on NBC affiliate WTHR.
Broadcast coverage of qualifications on Saturday, Aug. 15 begins on NBC at 3 p.m. ET.
Sunday, Aug. 16 broadcast coverage of Pole Day begins on NBC at 1 p.m. ET.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!