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Despite no Indy 500, spirits in Speedway remain strong

On the day of what was supposed to be the 104th running of the Indy 500, some people still came out to Main Street in Speedway for the nostalgia.

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WTHR) — On Sunday afternoon, Sara and Anthony Thomas made the best of what would have been the Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.​​

"You don't see the pagoda. You don't see the track, the brick, the flag, cars, people. It's not the same. It's not the same. It's alright though," Athony said as he sat next to his wife in front of IMS.​​

As they gazed toward West 16th Street, a feeling of disappointment sank in — followed by nostalgia.

"Stuff like this, you know, you can't go inside, what you would normally do, you take for granted on a daily basis," Sara said. "This is literally things that bring you together. Or even to sit here and think, how many memories were made at that gate."

They came to show their support for an honored tradition, just like countless others.​​

Many decided to dine out on a not-so-busy Main Street. ​​

"That's why we moved up on Main Street to enjoy Main Street. To be able to walk up to the restaurants," said Speedway resident Rick Conrad as he ate dinner at Dawson's on Main. ​​

Normally, the entire block would be filled with people, but COVID-19 has prevented that.​​

"If this were a normal regular race weekend, it would be constant. Constant turnover. We would stay full on a constant basis. From the time we open until the time we close it is go, go, go," said Donna Cozad of Dawson's on Main. ​​

Cozad, who has worked at Dawson's on Main for 10 years, said it's an adjustment.​​

"This is a change for everybody, but you just have to roll with it, and you've got to make the adaptations," Cozad said. ​​

These adaptations include adding outdoor seating to help with social distancing. ​​

"It's been nice to see the last couple of days where it's coming back alive again," said Speedway resident Donna Emberson.​​

Although Sunday broke from tradition, it didn't break many people's spirits. ​​

"Everybody is super supportive, just filled with lots of love and they bring that in here too and we truly appreciate that," said Cozad.​