Roger Penske tells fans they’ll return at Indy 500 in 2021: ‘I will miss you’

Roger Penske Indy 500 fans
Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports
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In a letter to Indianapolis Motor Speedway customers Thursday morning, track owner Roger Penske said he is looking forward to having fans return to the Indy 500 next May

“I will miss you on Sunday,” Penske wrote. “Believe me, there is no one more than me who wanted fans to be able to watch the 104th Running of the Indy 500 in person.”

Penske said “given the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Marion County, running the race
without fans was the right decision.”

PENSKE’S LETTER TO FANS: ‘I look forward to seeing you next May’

THE 104TH INDY 500How to watch Sunday’s race on NBC

The letter also touched on how the Indy 500 has shaped his life and led him to becoming a fixture at the Brickyard and in the NTT IndyCar Series.

Penske, whose cars have won a record 18 Indy 500s, attended his first race at the track in 1951, and it “made me who I am. It’s why I care so much about the Speedway and INDYCAR racing. It’s why the fan experience will always be my top priority.”

Since closing on his purchase of IMS and IndyCar in January, Penske has made multimillion-dollar improvements that included more than 30 video boards, 5G connectivity, updated concession stands and a new lift in the winner’s circle.

“More improvements, all focused on our fans, are on the way,” Penske wrote, adding that drivers still would put on “a world-class show” in Sunday’s race (1 p.m. ET, NBC) despite the disappointment of the grandstands being empty.

“Especially now, during these difficult times, gathering with friends and loved ones for cherished traditions means so much,” Penske wrote. “Hundreds of thousands of fans return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway every year, savoring the final note of “Back Home Again in Indiana” and cheering for some of the world’s greatest drivers. The roar of the crowd goes with the roar of the engines.

“I wanted you here.”

Click here to read Penske’s letter to all IMS customers that was sent Thursday morning.