Indy 500 Fan Whose Chevy Was Hit by Flying Tire Is Being Gifted a New One
After being invited to join in on the post-race celebrations, the owner of the damaged Chevy will be fairly rewarded for the unlucky situation.
One of the scariest things you can ever see at a race is debris flying over the catch fence. That's exactly what happened last Sunday at the 2023 Indy 500 when Arrow McLaren's Felix Rosenqvist triggered a series of events that led up to a poor Chevrolet Cruze getting hit by a rogue tire hurtling through the air. Now, Penske Entertainment—the parent company of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NTT IndyCar series—will reportedly be giving the unlucky fan a brand-new car.
No other details have been shared about this situation, only that Robin Matthews, the owner of the damaged Cruze, will be taken care of after the accident. It's unclear what kind of car she'll be given, or how, but it's safe to say that it'll likely be another Chevy given the track's partnership with GM and Roger Penske owning one of the largest Chevy dealers in Indiana.
On lap 186 of Sunday's 200-lap race, Rosenqvist's car brushed the wall coming out of Turn 1 and severely damaged his suspension, making him lose control of the car as it ricocheted back onto the racing line. An incoming Kyle Kirkwood was able to react fast enough to avoid a full head-on collision, but his Andretti Honda lightly clipped the damaged McLaren, sending him flying toward the Turn 2 wall in dramatic fashion.
It's hard to see the tire from Kirkwood's car detaching at ridiculous speed in the replay, though if you slow the footage down at the right time, you're able to see how the tire shot up and over the catch fence. It was unclear at the moment what exactly had happened, though a few minutes later it was confirmed that the tire had luckily managed to avoid any spectators, hitting a parked car instead. It was a truly scary situation that could've ended much worse—as it has on previous occasions.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Douglas Boles quickly set out to find the owner of the damaged Chevy, and ground crews quickly traced it back to Matthews, who had already witnessed the damage done to her car by this point.
"I didn't see it come down," Matthews told the Indianapolis Star. "I came down and they said 'Robin, it's your car!' I thought, 'No.' I thought somebody was pranking me. It's a car. It's fine."
Boles tried to make up for the ugly situation by inviting Matthews to the yard of bricks and having her join in on the post-race celebrations. Now, they'll really make amends with this new car.
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