INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Race fans say the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 is a day they will remember forever.
“The national anthem, to the checkered flag, the balloon drop…it is all a spectacle and you have to love it. It is beautiful, there is nothing like it in the world,” says race fan Joshua Phelps.
Sitting amongst a sea of fans, cheering for their favorite drivers, and celebrating the best day of the month of May in Indianapolis is a feeling that is hard to explain.
“It is really hard to put into words, you can only say so much…but once they get inside and actually see everything that foes on that is when it actually hits home for them,” says race fan Kevin Bolin.
More than 350,000 fans came to the historical race that was the first ever total sell out.
“We saw bigger crowds that normal but we planned ahead,” says Bolin.
People parked miles away and walked to the track to avoid traffic. But, once inside they were not able to move very fast.
“Before the race started, you could not get through the area behind the seats at all,” says race fan Dennis Giddens.
Emergency crews responded to several calls for heat exhaustion during the nearly 90 degree day.
“With the sun being out and obviously people are drinking all day, we want to make sure they are staying hydrated,” says Lt. Trent Theobald of Speedway Police.
After rookie Alexander Rossi rallied to win the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, fans began flooding out of the track.
“We kept traffic flowing. IMS did a great job of getting people through the gates quickly,” says Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine.
Hundreds walked to their cars, Ubers, and trolleys…then sat in heavy traffic for hours.
“Take in the scenery and watch people walk by…because that is about all you are going to be able to do anyways,” says race fan Aaron Billings.
Others who paid to ride the Park N’ Jet trolley were stranded for hours, waiting to get a ride back to downtown.
“We were up at 3:00 in the morning to be on the firs bus out to the track. Now, we are trying to get back and it is a 14 hours day in the sun…and it is hard on everybody,” says a race fan.