Indy 500 drivers thank Speedway fans with impromptu parade, gifts

Indy 500 Speedway parade
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The Indy 500 field took its parade Saturday morning to the people of Speedway.

Though the traditional downtown parade was canceled this year because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the 33 drivers in Sunday’s race (1 p.m. ET on NBC; 2:30 p.m. green flag) each hopped in a red Camaro convertible after the virtual driver’s meeting at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

After a procession through the nearby town of Speedway, each driver stopped at the house of a longtime ticketholder in the neighborhoods surrounding the Brickyard, delivering gift bags to the fans who won’t be able to attend this year’s race that is being held without a crowd.

Indy 500 parade
IMS

According to a release from IMS, Brenda Hamm, a longtime resident who has 16 race tickets, received a visit from pole-sitter Marco Andretti and his legendary grandfather, Mario. Hamm invited the Andrettis to sit in her front porch chairts.

“We’ll be back for dinner,” Marco said.

Andretti will lead the field to green Sunday after running behind his father, Michael, and Mario during a three-generation pace lap. Mario will be driving a two-seater Indy car with his son.

Here’s a roundup  of social reactions from IndyCar and the drivers in the Indy 500 Speedway parade:

Indy 500 Speedway parade