Speedway prepares for race fans

(WISH Photo)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — The 101st running of the Indy 500 is just four days away, and most of those living next to the famed oval are already excited.

Only about 12,000 people live in Speedway year-round, with many of them preparing their front and backyards for crowds.

While this race takes place over Memorial Day weekend, they have another holiday in mind.

“Race time, for most of us it’s like Christmas time,” said Lynn Attkison, who lives near IMS.

“It’s like Christmas morning for me. I get all pumped up. Get excited for the whole month of May,” said Kevin Johnson, who’s lived near IMS for 22 years.

Johnson’s backyard caters to his May house guests. He rents out space for RVs and campers.

“(We) lived on 14th Street when we bought this house, we didn’t put it together how close we were to the track, until it came that time, and then its like this is crazy,” said Johnson.

The Auburn Street address is a stone’s throw from IMS.

“It gets kind of exciting for me because I don’t see much during the weeks (leading up to the race) and then here comes the race and, oh my, here we go. Here comes the big crowd,” said Jerry Butner who also lives on the street.

Burner has lived there for 60 years. He says he used to watch the race from his roof.

The anticipation builds every year, and not only for the action on the track.

“Excitement got built up around here a couple years ago for me because they started redoing the downtown Main Street in Speedway and they got all new restaurants and everything just seems like it’s helped to draw the crowd in,” said Butner.

“Some of the coolest people in the world come right here to Speedway and hangout and party and enjoy the race and all the festivities,” said Lynn Attkison who moved to the neighborhood two years ago..

“Some guys have fishing camps, some guys have hunting camps. we have a race camp,” said Kelly Sanner who’s been driving from Mississippi to IMS for 39 years.

“It’s really, really the best time of the year to be here on the west side of Indianapolis right here in May,” said Attkison.

They’re expecting campers to start showing up Wednesday night and staying through the race.

But they have a warning if you plan on driving and parking.

“If you are going to park in someone’s yard, get their permission first. Make sure that they are the property owner because when you come back you will not have a vehicle parked there anymore if you don’t,” said Attkison.

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