Extreme Heat Taxes Indy 500 Fans

Track Temps Soar Into 90s

The heat was nearly unbearable, but it didn't quite break a record at the Indianapolis 500.

The National Weather Service said the highest official temperature during the race was 91 degrees, just shy of the 92 degree record set in 1937, but it was likely a little warmer at the track than it was at Indianapolis International Airport, where the city's official temperature is recorded.

Special Section: Indy 500

Regardless, first responders were busy through the whole race, treating heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration, RTV6's Eboné Monet reported.

"I have had a drink in my hand all day, and if I didn't, I would have passed out by now," said one race fan.

"We have rags with ice water around your neck if you get too hot," said race fan Erin Picklesimer.

Treatment of heat-related illness began almost as soon as gates opened at the speedway. Temporary mobile medical sites were opened to keep up with an influx of heat-worn patients.

Annie Bingham and others found some relief under a shade tree.

"It feels very refreshing, thanks to lots of water and a couple of Bud Lights," Bingham said.

Race fans were warned to cut down on consumption of alcohol, which increases the risk for dehydration. First responders told those at the track to drink 16 ounces of water over 30 minutes to an hour.

Most fans seemed to come prepared for the heat, dressing in light clothing and with drink-filled coolers.

Print this article Back to Top