ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It’s day two of the Firestone Grand Prix, and the main event is the opening race of the Indy Car season.  

Diehard fans were out bright and early Saturday to take part in all the festivities. William Peterson was one of the many fans just feet away from the race track. He said the sounds of the revving engines and sights of the Indy cars whizzing by are what makes the event so exciting.

“This is my second year. I used to watch it up north on TV. I moved down here last year and I’m like, I’m here. Let’s go racing,” Petersen said.

Tyler Sankel said the race is a yearly tradition.

“It’s a family thing. It’s been a family thing since we started coming when I was 9 or 10-years-old.”

On top of enjoying the races, Sankel said his main priority for the weekend is getting this helmet signed.

“It’s just a helmet with the entire Indy Car field, the majority of the owners and some other former drivers that are here this weekend. Autographs are our thing. We stay all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Sankel said.

Debbie Richie and her husband are on vacation from Alabama and said they’re making a weekend out of the race.

“We got here Thursday night and will stay till Monday just for the race. It beats watching it on TV. Being here in person makes the experience. The sound is just so much better.”

That was why Joyce and Felix Gutierrez brought their grandson out to see the fast cars.

“He loves cars. He’s a hot wheels fan. So, any car or truck he wants to see it. We put these headphones on his ears to protect them.”

It’s an experience for people of all ages. The excitement for fans keeps building as the fans get ready for the main race set for tomorrow. It is called the NTT Indy Car series race which starts at 1:40 p.m.

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