The 2021 Indianapolis 500 was a memorable one due to the pandemic which postponed the race by a month. The famous race was run on May 30 which was a Saturday. Normally, the race would have been run on a Thursday due to the Sabbath. This was done to make sure the fans would turn out in large numbers to watch the race. The month long break gave the Indy 500 some time to rest and make up for lost preparations. The track still had to manage the logistics of running a prestigious race during a pandemic. The goal was to make sure the event went off without a hitch.
What Did They Achieve?
From the beginning it was clear that the Indy 500 organizers had a lot to live up to. Not only was it a month after the huge disaster which was the Grand Prix of America, but racing at all was also on hold. The Indy 500 were hoping to live up to the standards which the Grand Prix set and to make the event memorable and worthwhile. The organizers did an amazing job and the results were certainly memorable. Over one million people lined the streets to watch the race. The combination of the two races made for a lucrative season as the Indy 500 raised over US$20 million in ticket sales. The support staff which was employed during the race were also paid well as there were over 40 job openings at the end of the month.
The organizers of the Indy 500 made an estimated $40 million in ticket sales, $17 million from corporate sponsorship, and another $23 million from television rights and other sources.
Fastest Lap Of The Race?
The fans and the media were eager to find out who would be this year’s first premier race winner. The consensus was that it would be Scott Dixon who ended up being the man to beat. Coming into the month of May, he was consistently fastest in the practice sessions and he capitalized on this momentum by winning the pole position for the Indy 500. His win in the pole position put him in an incredible position to win the whole thing and the $10 million prize. Unfortunately for him and the fans, he retired from the race while leading after 33 laps. He suffered a massive engine failure and had to pit in order to change his engine. The race was red flagged and he and all the other drivers joined in a massive pileup on the main straight. Race winner and eventual champion Bryan Clauson paid the ultimate price for this disastrous accident. Not only did he lose his life in the fiery crash, but he missed out on what would have been his first Indy 500 win. The fans were gutted as were the rest of the competitors. The race had to be stopped, all of the cars retired and the organizers had to cancel the race. Only four of the original 33 starters made it to the finish line. The race was restarted two weeks later but with a new and different rules set. The crash which took the life of Bryan Clauson was the defining moment of the 2019 Indianapolis 500.
Will This Be The End Of The Indy 500?
At the beginning of the year, many people were wondering if the Indy 500 was indeed going to end. With the huge financial losses which the race incurred in previous years, there were plenty of doubters. Looking back on it now, it is easy to see that the Indy 500 organizers were determined to make it another great year. In fact, it went so well that they are considering making it an annual event. The only question is, will they keep the same date or move it to the following year?