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Indy 500 fan whose car was struck by errant wheel invited to kiss the bricks

Robin Matthews' Chevrolet Cruze had to be towed away after it was struck by a wheel that got launched from the track during the race.

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — The 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 was a memorable event for many, not the least of whom was Indianapolis resident Robin Matthews.

In the late stages of the race Sunday, a crash involving Felix Rosenqvist and Kyle Kirkwood sent a wheel sailing over the track fence, just clearing a grandstand packed with fans.

The wheel smashed the hood of Matthews' Chevrolet Cruze, which was parked in a lot next to the grandstand. 

Fortunately, no one was injured. "Snowball" – the moniker Matthews gave her car – had to be towed away. But the day wasn't a total loss for Matthews. Not by a longshot.

Doug Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president, invited Matthews to a post-race photo session and let her kiss the bricks.

Boles then arranged for someone to drive home the suddenly car-less Matthews.

As for the race, it ended a short time later when Josef Newgarden ended 11 years of frustration and finally won the Indianapolis 500, using an audacious pass of defending race winner Marcus Ericsson during a frantic 2.5-mile sprint to the finish.

(The Associated Press and AP reporter Jenna Fryer contributed to this report.)

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