SPEEDWAY, Ind. — This weekend, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing is giving way to the greatest spectacle in home decor. Roughly 800 homeowners signed up for the Indy 500 Spectacle of Homes contest, but only 33 will win.
With the Indy 500 parade cancelled this year, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) officials asked homeowners to decorate their homes and front yards like floats. The best 33 homes will have Indy 500 drivers show up at their doorstep this weekend.
“You know if you decorated your home like that you’re a race fan, so to have a driver show up at your house a day before the Indy 500 to say, ‘Thank you’ — that alone is a pretty big treat,” said IMS President Doug Boles with a smile.
Veronica Shook is hoping to be one of the chosen few. She modeled her front yard after American Dairy Association floats she had seen in previous Indy 500 parades. Her lawn is covered in inflatable cows, and each has a number of their favorite driver. She even has milk and apple juice on hand for kids in the neighborhood.
“Since we have a yard of bricks in our front yard, we could have the cows racing to the yard of bricks,” laughed Shook.
A small number of contestants have already learned they are winners. Paul Clinard and his family will have Conor Daly visiting their Speedway home this weekend. The family had a tree cut down and turned into an Indy 500 monument last year. Clinard credits his wife for all the beautiful home made decorations on their house.
“Hours, she stays up late and does all her arts and crafts,” said Clinard. “I’m here for support. Looks good, need something hung? I can put something up.”
This weekend, the drivers will take part in what IMS is calling a “reverse parade” before heading to the winning homes. The official route for that caravan is expected to come out on Friday.