The race to clear Indianapolis Motor Speedway trash and campgrounds

(WISH Photo)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — The Indy 500 race isn’t the only one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) this week as crews and campers raced to clear the grounds.

Nearly 24 hours after the 101st running of the greatest spectacle in racing started, some campers were still leaving the infield. “It’s kind of like we’re at a funeral right now,” Dave Schlundt said. “It was so much fun doing all this stuff.”

The fans may be trickling out, but the work to clean up after them is underway. About 23 groups took to the grounds at 7 a.m. Monday morning

“We have a challenge to be done by 2:30 p.m., but I would very shocked if we get that,” IMS volunteer Teri Downey said.

Downey and her youth church group out of the East Side Church of God in Anderson have cleaned IMS for a decade. “It’s pretty messy, it’s pretty gross work. I think I have beer all over my body now from today’s efforts alone,” Downey said.

The groups are all volunteers, but there is a way to make money. The more of cans they collect, the more cash they earn.

The aluminum is weighed and organizations can get around $10 a bag. “Several of our kids are going to get to go on mission trips this year, that otherwise they may not have been able to afford,” Downey said.

An unknowing donation is just another perk campers said is part of the experience. That and losing a pair of shoes from the mud caused by last week’s rain.

“I’m bringing my rubber boots next time,” Schlundt said. “Yeah, yeah, yeah I forgot. I was born and raised in Indiana, but I forgot when the rain comes down. It comes down and doesn’t stop,” Tim Duffour said.

IMS said crews will work on the grounds again Tuesday.

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