Conor Daly and Sarah Fisher gave health workers assisting with COVID-19 vaccines the ride of their lives in advance of a mass vaccination that will take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of April.
The Indiana University (IU) Health System and IMS will team up in the month of April to vaccinate up to 100,000 persons, which is about 40 percent of the track’s seating capacity.
Roger Penske has stated a goal of having a full capacity of 250,000 fans in the stands, and in a good-faith showing to aim for a large crowd, he opened up the track to be a vaccination site.
Anyone 16 years or older currently is eligible for the vaccine in Indiana. They will pre-register for their vaccinations, drive through Gate 2 at the speedway (where their registrations will be confirmed) and then drive into the track through the garages along pit road.
“I know it seems like a lot, but it’s still a small number for the State of Indiana,” said Mary Kay Foster, IU Health mass vaccination clinic manager. “But it’s 100,000 people closer to getting to that herd effect that we keep talking about.”
Local officials share Penske’s optimism that the track can accommodate the quarter-million crowd. More than 170,000 tickets have already been sold for the May 30 event.
But before health workers got down to work, they were treated to rides around the track. To show their appreciation, Indy 500 veteran Sarah Fisher and the current driver of the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing IndyCar, Conor Daly gave health workers rides around the track in Chevrolet Tahoes.
“To help out our friends who are helping us; who are on the front line in the fight against COVID is fantastic,” Daly said. “There are so many people working many, many hours trying to help Americans live their lives and get back into action as soon as possible, so we’re really thankful to them. If we can take them for a ride here at the race track, which is our home, our love – that’s fantastic.”
Daly crashed just shy of the halfway point of last year’s race, which was held without fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He finished 29th after starting 18th. Daly’s best result in the Indy 500 came in 2019 when he finished 10th.
“Any day that I get to come to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and take laps is always fun,” said Fisher. “This is hallowed ground – to have the honor to drive here. And then to take passengers like some of our frontline workers at IU is just tremendous.”
Fisher has competed in nine Indy 500s with a best finish of 17th in 2009.
“I’m very excited about the month of May here at IMS,” Daly said. “I can’t wait to get back on track . It seems that our world is heading in the right direction again, which is very exciting. I can’t wait to get back out here, see some people and drive some race cars really fast.”