Penske Entertainment, which owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series, is giving a new car to the owner of a Chevrolet that was damaged by a flying tire during the Indianapolis 500.
A spokesperson told The Indianapolis Star on Wednesday that Penske Entertainment will give Robin Matthews of Indianapolis a new car.
The damage occurred when driver Kirk Kirkwood’s car launched off the back of another driver who hit the wall between Turns 1 and 2. Kirkwood’s car flipped, and his tire went soaring over the fence that protects spectators. Fortunately, the flying tire missed the crowd and landed in the parking lot, where it crushed the Chevrolet owned by Matthews.
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IndyCar owner Roger Penske (the father of Penske Media CEO Jay Penske) said an investigation will be held into why the tire came off. Tires are supposed to stay attached to the Indy cars via tethers, which were instituted after several fan deaths during races in the 1990s.
Matthews’ car was towed because of the tire damage. Officials gave Matthews a chance to kiss the bricks – a time-honored Indy 500 tradition – and then IMS president J. Douglas Boles gave her a ride home.
“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.”
The report did not indicate what kind of car Matthews would be getting as a replacement.
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