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Race Day at the Indy 500 has special meaning for one Michiana man

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -

Plenty of folks from Michiana made it down for the Indy 500 including one man who has been going for a half century.

Gerry Bundle says his year starts and ends at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; it’s something he’s done practically his whole life.

“I mean you see all the 33 come down the straightaway and just negotiate trying to get through that tunnel at turn one and do it safely,” said Bundle.

It’s a sight he has seen since the beginning.

He added, “Well my first one was 1963 as a six month old, I have a picture of my dad holding me out at turn 3 parking is right now but the first of the current string was 1969.” 

A memorable race for the man who now calls Cassopolis “home.”

“Mario Andretti wins his one and only time and hasn’t missed one since then.”

50 Indy 500 races for Gerry with each step, you learn something new.

It’s a love aided by his father.

“It was always something I wanted to come to from the beginning, it’s like it’s in me, you know when you hear the cars as a six month old, it’s in me,” continues Bundle. 

Even after his father passed, Gerry continued to go, knowing his dad would want nothing more and it’s a reminder of him everywhere he turns.

“When you hear taps play, and he was a veteran, he was buried here at Indianapolis and all those things come back those memories and this is just a way of carrying on, it’s a memorial to him the fact that I’m here and one of the many gifts my dad gave me was the Indy 500,” said Bundle. 

A gift passed on to his children.

He adds, “Every one of my children has had their diaper changed out here you know their first year after their born they’ve all come, most of them come to hang with dad, but the 19 year old Kayla, she loves the sport.”

And a place he will always call “home.”

“Where else can you be in a crowd of 350,000 people? Actually it’s probably larger than that, and people getting along and enjoying the racing, it’s the sights, it’s the sounds, and it’s the speed.” He continues. “I was also born here in Indianapolis so this is an actual homecoming, my year begins and ends with the Indy 500 and this is when I come and decorate my dad’s grave, my great grandparents, my grandmother’s so that’s all a part of this tradition.”

Bundle says the only thing that would’ve made this weekend complete is if his wife made the trip down.

She had to be rushed to the hospital Friday with chest pains but Gerry says she’s doing much better and will be ready to make the trip down next year for year 51.

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