This is one of the most amazing stories of fan dedication in all of sports.
The Indy 500 is built on a foundation of tradition and unsurpassed fan loyalty. Many people go to the race every year, for decades at a time, and it becomes part of their family heritage. In the early Nineties, I wrote a story for the Indianapolis News on a man who had attended every race but one since 1919. I had heard so many other stories of fans who had long streaks of perfect attendance that I became curious: Who had attended the most consecutive races?
With help from the Speedway ticket office, I located Bennett in Pennsylvania. He had – and still has – attended every race going back to 1939. He’s the only person I’m aware of with a streak predating World War II. He even attended the race in 1938 in his pregnant mother’s womb. He not only attends the race, he brings a large group of friends. They absorb as much of the event as they can, including the parade.
Other Indianapolis media outlets have missed this story. I sent information to two television stations once, but they didn’t follow up on it. Not obvious enough, I guess. I doubt there’s a fan of any other sporting event with a record such as his.
First aired 2011
Tagged with: Dr. Richard Bennett, Indianapolis 500 fan