Four time Indianapolis 500 winner and NTT IndyCar Series team owner AJ Foyt says it must have been a very tough decision for Roger Penske to make following the news that the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on August 23 will take place behind closed doors without fans.
Speaking about the news Foyt said:
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 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.
AJ Foyt Racing President Larry Foyt commented saying:
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.”
Veteran driver Tony Kanaan who drives the No.14 ABC Supply Chevrolet who is on #TKLastLap commented saying:
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.
NTT IndyCar Series rookie Dalton Kellett commented in the news saying:
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 honoured 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 in the No.4 Tresiba Chevrolet commented on the news saying:
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.”