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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Safety template works at IMS

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I really didn’t know what to expect this past Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
After all, while they’ve taken every precaution to make the Cathedral of Motorsports safe, it’s ultimately up to the race fans who pass through the gate to be responsible for their own health and safety during this ongoing pandemic.

IMS has been beyond vigilant in preparing for the return of those who flock to the track annually and with an aggressive vaccination campaign ongoing and the mandate of face coverings still in place, l certainly felt safe in my little domain of the media center where strict guidelines were constantly followed.

As l ventured out in to the garage and pit areas, I realized that what they were asking the fans to do would work if people simply complied and practiced reasonable levels of social distancing throughout the day.

Almost everywhere you looked there were IMS representatives holding signs reminding you that masks were required and to space yourself appropriately. All restricted seating areas were clearly marked and there were also safety reminders delivered periodically via the public address system.

Despite the spirited racing that has prevailed since the inception of the event, historically, attendance for the GMR Grand Prix has not been significant. IMS did experience better numbers this weekend and as a result, it undoubtedly served as a dress rehearsal for the upcoming Indianapolis 500 on May 30.

With this trial run under their belt, l would think they’ll do just as good for the world’s biggest race. All the aforementioned precautionary measures aside, we all can help when we attend by practicing the same methods that seemed to work extremely well for the GP.

Take your responsibility seriously race fans and do your part as the world focuses on Indianapolis and not just the hallowed grounds at 16th Street and Georgetown Road during these difficult environmental health times. We’re fortunate to be attending a sporting event of this magnitude, so let’s not drop our guard now as we continue the trek to normality and enjoy the greatest race in the world. You can do it.

Notes: Rinus VeeKay captured the GMR Grand Prix for his first NTT Indy Car Series victory.
After overtaking polesitter Romain Grosjean, VeeKay got the whip out and was never challenged afterward. Grosjean was second and Alex Palou brought it home third.

Newly acquired Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz enthusiastically delivered the command to start and seemed to enjoy his VIP experience at the Speedway.

You can still purchase reserved seat tickets online for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 by visiting ims.com. There will be no general admission offered and public parking in the infield is prohibited as part of the COVID-19 precautionary measures being followed.

Danny Bridges, who felt a lot safer at IMS this past weekend than he does at his local grocery store, can be reached at 317-370-8447 or at bridgeshd@aol.com.

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