Jim Inman (Photo: IndyStar)
With 135,000 fans in Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday, Helio Castroneves won his fourth Indianapolis 500 race.
Castroneves joins AJ Foyt, Al Unser, Sr. and Rick Mears as four-time winners of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Mears was the last driver to join the club back in 1991. Castroneves won in 2001, 2002 and 2009. His victory makes him the fourth-oldest driver at 46-years-old.
Fans enjoyed perfect weather after being unable to attend the 2020 race – delayed until August – due to the pandemic.
The stands appeared full, as IMS was limited to 40% capacity. The infield and other areas were off-limits for race fans. The 500 was the first large-scale event since pandemic restrictions were lifted month.
Thirty-three cars raced in the 500 this year, with an average speed of just over 190 miles per hour, making the race the fastest in its 105-year history.
Spanish driver Alex Palou finished second behind Castroneves, and 2019 winner Simon Pagenaud was third.
Indiana University has no plans to reverse course on a plan requiring COVID-19 vaccinations of students, faculty and staff for the upcoming school year.
The news comes after an online petition, state legislators disagreeing with the policy and concern from the public about the decision.
Kirk White, Indiana University’s assistant vice president for strategic partnerships, said the policy will allow the campus to return to a pre-COVID normal. This includes large gatherings including athletic events.
By requiring the vaccination, the university will save more than $10 million in mitigation testing. White said the university will conduct surveillance testing to monitor for potential outbreaks across campuses.
The vaccination requirement has been met with opposition. Nineteen state legislators asked Governor Eric Holcomb to prevent state universities from requiring vaccines that don’t have full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. A change.org petition has more than 10,000 signatures, asking IU to retract its policy, and Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said IU cannot force students or employees to provide proof of immunization.
IU did note in the announcement last month that individuals with documented health or religious reasons would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.