The Greatest Fans in Motorsport!

While drivers and cars often take the spotlight at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the true heart of the event is the passionate and loyal fan base. On race day, the track becomes the second-largest city in Indiana, with over 300,000 fans gathering to witness the spectacle.

Ron Boes: A Veteran Fan

We had the pleasure of catching up with Ron Boes, a dedicated fan who has been attending the race since 1994. For Ron, the allure of the cars and the camaraderie of the people are what bring him back year after year. Hailing from West Lafayette, Ron’s fondest memories include the open, festive atmosphere of the past, where fans partied from Friday through Sunday along Georgetown Road. When asked about his favorite driver, Rahal, and Graham’s recent performance, Ron mused, “It’s too bad. It makes you wonder about some of these other drivers. Is it the driver? Or the car? I’d like to find that out sometime.”

Rob and Robert Cassady: A Family Legacy

In Pagoda Plaza, we encountered Rob and Robert Cassady, a father-son duo with deep ties to the Speedway. Rob’s grandfather, born and raised in Speedway, IN, served as the town’s police chief and was a long-time fixture at the track, working with USAC and Firestone until the age of 92. Rob’s favorite memory involves his father taking laps in the 96 pace car, a Dodge Viper, thanks to his grandfather’s connections. Robert’s favorite drivers have evolved from Jeff Gordon to Will Power and Tony Kanaan, while Rob also favors Will Power. The Cassady family’s legacy is a testament to the enduring bond between the track and its community.

Faith Kidwell: The “Yellow Shirt”

Faith Kidwell, known around the track as a “Yellow Shirt,” has been a familiar face at the Speedway for 16 years. Working in the Media Center, she cherishes the opportunity to interact with drivers and their families, often noting the concern parents have for their young drivers. Although she doesn’t have a current favorite driver, Robbie Gordon holds a special place in her heart. Her favorite day at the track is Carburetion Day, but the most memorable day for Faith was when she got married in the Tower Terrace suite at the track.

FireHawk: The Mascot Extraordinaire

No IndyCar race is complete without the appearance of the Firestone Firehawk. We caught up with the beloved mascot in Pagoda Plaza. Proudly representing Firestone, Firehawk humorously acknowledged that his name might not suit a pit lane helper role but loves engaging with fans and celebrating in Victory Lane post-race.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is not just a venue for thrilling races; it’s a gathering place for fans who share a deep connection to the sport and the community. These stories of dedication and tradition exemplify why the fans at Indianapolis are truly the greatest in motorsport.