The 107th edition of the Indianapolis 500 was an eventful one, with a notable incident involving a major crash and a flying tire that narrowly missed the crowd. Robin Matthews, who was at the race, had the tire land on her car. The president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Doug Boles, quickly responded by alerting fans and ensuring their safety. After assessing the situation and the race concluding with Josef Newgarden’s victory, Matthews was invited to the Brickyard and provided transportation home.
The Indianapolis 500 is known for its iconic start/finish line adorned with bricks, and Matthews followed the tradition by kneeling down and kissing the surface, just as the winning driver and their team do in celebration. Matthews affectionately referred to her car as “Snowball” and acknowledged that it took one for the team in the incident.
While Matthews’ car suffered damage to the radiator and lights on the driver’s side, her primary concern was the safety of everyone involved. Fortunately, only one person was struck by debris but not the tire and received medical attention at the infield care center before being released.
Witnesses at Turn 2 had a terrifying view of the flying tire, and author John Green expressed relief that no one was seriously injured. Matthews, who initially thought the photo of her damaged car was a prank, felt a sinking feeling in her stomach when she realized it was real.
Her vehicle had to be towed from the track, and she is currently arranging for repairs. Matthews doesn’t expect any compensation from IndyCar but was grateful that no one was hurt and appreciated the ride home in an official Indy 500 vehicle.
The incident raised concerns among the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar series owner, Roger Penske, who emphasized the importance of investigating and understanding why the wheel came off. Safety measures, such as wheel tethers, are in place, and incidents like this are rare in modern racing.
The race had additional noteworthy occurrences, including two major crashes and three red flags. It was a dramatic event that will leave a lasting impression on many fans.