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Greyhounds Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing

The 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500

Written by Troi Watts

As the namesake institution of Indianapolis, home of the racing capital of the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the University of Indianapolis takes immense pride in its students and alumni who play pivotal roles in the organization and execution of the Indianapolis 500. From managing traffic flow and ensuring credential distribution to participating in community outreach and continuing a family legacy in racing, UIndy representatives embody the spirit and dedication that make the Indy 500 a success.

Keep Fans on Track

On Race Day, Speedway becomes the second largest city in Indiana, with 300,000 fans from across the country all trying to get to the same place. This is the moment even the seemingly simple jobs, such as Traffic Control, become the most vital. Alicia McGuire ‘25 (Marketing) will be one of the many interns and employees directing traffic into and out of IMS.

Alicia McGuire and other traffic interns at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

In addition to giving McGuire real-world experience, her internship also gives her a glimpse into the significance of the Indy 500 and its impact on the community.

“It means a lot to be a part of Indianapolis’s May traditions,” said McGuire. “It’s to see what the Speedway does for everyone in Indianapolis as they prepare for the big race and to be able to see everyone come together to watch.”

A Friendly Face at the Gates

There are many ways for fans to experience the greatest spectacle in racing. From cheering on your favorite driver in the stands to meeting them face-to-face in the pits and garages to enjoying the race from above in a suite, there’s no wrong way to watch the Indy 500. Ensuring that fans experience the Indy 500 their way requires detailed organization and execution, something Emma Beasley ‘25 (Sport Management) has seen first-hand as an intern in the IMS Credential Office. 

In her role, Beasley is responsible for helping distribute credentials to all those attending the race, including IMS employees, media outlets, VIPs, vendors, and more, to allow them access to various areas of the track. 

“I feel a sense of accomplishment that I have the opportunity to be one of the first faces that people see in the beginning of May,” said Beasley.

Racing Royalty

Caitlyn Cook and fellow 500 Festival Princess pose with an IndyCar driver

Each year, the 500 Festival Princess Program selects 33 of Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically-driven young women to serve as ambassadors of the 500 Festival, their hometowns, and their colleges and universities. The 500 Festival Princesses exemplify the community spirit that lies at the heart of May in Indiana, and this year’s princess from UIndy, Caitlyn Cook ‘24 (Public Health Education and Promotion), is no exception. 

Part of the 500 Festival Princess Program includes participating in community outreaches. Cook was able to invite her fellow princesses to Special Olympics Indiana’s polar plunge event as well as her hometown’s elementary school Spring Fling and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’s Speed Fest. At each event, the princesses helped the community get into the spirit of May as well as inspire future generations of 500 Festival princesses.

“It was really cool seeing people recognize us in the community and to be able to inform Indiana’s youth on the steps to becoming a 500 Festival Princess and the impact that it makes,” said Cook.

You may see Cook fulfilling her duties as a 500 Festival Princess this weekend at the AES 500 Festival Parade! 

A Family Legacy

The Reinbold name is synonymous with racing excellence, and the Indy 500 would be incomplete without the legacy of the Reinbold family. Proud UIndy alumnus Dennis Reinbold ‘83 (Business) carries on his family’s legacy as owner of Dreyer and Reinbold today.

“I grew up around the track and really loved it,” said Reinbold. “My grandfather was involved back in the Duesenberg days and I’ve had several uncles who were instrumental in the Indy 500 and worked on pit crews and such over the years. So being a part of the Indy 500 was an opportunity to combine my relationships with car dealerships with my love of racing. It’s a privilege to be here.”

One of Reinbold’s favorite aspects of the Indy 500 is the challenge. Reinbold and his team work all year round preparing their drivers for victory. This year, Dreyer and Reinbold’s lineup includes two drivers, Conor Daly and Ryan Hunter-Reay. 

“We want to win that race,” said Reinbold. “We feel like we have a good shot at winning. We have two really good drivers and good sponsorships. It’s a challenge to put together the best we can, but it’s something that I love diving into and working on.”

UIndy’s presence at the Indy 500 is a testament to the University’s commitment to excellence and community engagement. As the engines roar and the checkered flag waves, the impact of UIndy’s dedicated individuals is felt, driving the tradition and spirit of the race forward.