'It's Still May in Speedway': 500 fans roll out decorations for a race delayed until August

GT Pollard shows his Indy 500 spirit by painting a checkered flag on his lawn. (WTHR photo/Rich Van Wyk)
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SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WTHR) - In some Speedway neighborhoods, it looks like some Indy 500 fans haven’t heard there’s no race this weekend.

On front lawns, checkered flags flap in the breeze, model race cars jockey for position and in front of one home, the Borg Warner trophy stands ready for to be presented to a new winner.

Michelle Lidy created the look-alike trophy with a trash can, a Barbie doll and lots of silver paint.

“It’s still May,” she said. “It is still part of who we are. There may not be a race, but we still have the spirit.”

Speedway’s Chamber of Commerce couldn’t be more pleased. It is sponsoring a “It’s Still May in Speedway” competition, which pits homeowners against each other to see who has the raciest display.

“It shows how much and how meaningful the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is to this town,” said the chamber's executive director Connie Harris.

Chris Warnock and her family went all out decorating their home with the spirit of race day. (WTHR photo/Rich Van Wyk)

Speedway is a quiet town that any other May would be shaking with the excitement and noise of the 500.

“Whoo, whoo!” Harris shouted.

13News reporter Rich Van Wyk countered with his best imitation of a speeding race car.

“You are better at it then than I am," Harris laughed.

Indy 500 fan Chris Warnock hopes she’s the best.

There’s a house somewhere behind all the racing decorations she and her husband set up. The painted family portrait captured them at the track. Chris has some more decorating to do. She has a small race car ready to roll out of the garage and a young son to play the role of a winning race driver holding the traditional quart of milk.

“The spirit of Speedway, for sure,” Warnock said with a smile.

13News caught GT Pollard repainting his front lawn to look like a checkered flag.

“I’m crazy,” Pollard said with a laugh. “People know I’m crazy.”

Crazy about the Indy 500, that is. He said strangers often stop to take pictures of themselves on his front lawn.

Does all the decorating take the sting out of not having the race this weekend?

”Absolutely not,” he said. “No. No.”

For more than a century, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been part of the fabric of life in Speedway.

“All of Indianapolis, all of the state, is missing the 500, but it hits a little closer to home for us because it’s in our backyard," Harris said.

And now front yards, too.

Judges will pick winners Saturday. In August, when the delayed 500 is scheduled to run, winners will be the guests of the Speedway during qualifications and their homes will be displayed on the speedway’s giant monitors for all fans to see.