Photo: Indycar, Chris Jones
An emotional drivers’ meeting followed by an impromptu parade and home visits made what was supposed to be Legends’ Day a little easier to take.
The live streamed drivers’ meeting began with drivers sitting in the seats of longtime ticket holders and telling the fans how they missed them being there this year. I and some other fans I talked to today were affected by a mysterious dust storm that occurred at this moment. We all had to stop and wipe our eyes.
The meeting is on You Tube at this link:
The best line of the meeting was marco Andretti’s when ;leigh diffey asked how special it would for grandfather Mario and father Michael to be in the two seater on the pace laps.
“I can’t believe I’m on the pole and I’m still starting behind these guys,” Marco quipped.
The meeting took place on the Pagoda Plaza with masked drivers sitting in chairs at the proper social distance. Diffey introduce the drivers in groups of 11 at various points in the proceedings. Their 500 participation rings lay in boxes underneath each driver’s chair.
I thought the meeting was great although it was the first time for me that the reality of not being at the race solidly hit me.
After the meeting, the drivers took 33 official cars and paraded down Main Street before driving to the homes of local long time ticket holders.
IMS is doing everything they can to show the fans how much they are missed abnd what they mean to the drivers. If you have ever doubted that the drivers care about the fans (which i didn’t) today should put that idea to rest. I can’t think of another sport where something like this would happen.
I’ll be back tomorrow mornign with a quick preview of the day and then Quick Thoughts after the race.