I had a really neat chat with a woman in the store the other day while waiting in line. She noticed my IMS shirt, and said when she was young her father was really into racing, and would bring the family out to the Speedway every year for a day of practice. They’d never go to the race itself, being a large family and tickets costing what they did, but not a year went without the family going to watch a day of Indy 500 practice.
In any case, one year, right around 1984 or so, while attending practice, the family saw driver Steve Chassey out and about. Apparently, he took the time to talk to the whole family and even signed a pennant or somesuch that one of the kids had brought.
“Maybe it was just being a kid, but I never thought an actual race car driver would actually talk to me,” she confessed.
I asked if she still went out to the race.
“Oh yes,” she said. “Every May. From then on, I was hooked. We’ve had 500 tickets since my husband and I got married”.
Steve Chassey certainly had an up-and-down career at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but without even knowing it, he created a fan for life.