Indianapolis 500 fan whose car was hit by flying tire: 'Thought somebody was pranking me'

What was initially a scary moment for spectators at the Indianapolis 500 turned out to be a story to remember for one attendee.

With less than 20 laps to go at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, Felix Rosenqvist hit the outside wall before spinning back onto the track and slamming into Kyle Kirkwood, who lost a back tire. Not only was the crash scary for Kirkwood, as his car went upside down, but it became a suspenseful moment for the crowd as the back tire flew toward fans.

Broadcast cameras showed the tire appear to be headed toward people in the stands before missing and landing elsewhere on the grounds. Videos on social media then showed a white car in the parking lot with some damage on its front, apparently from the tire.

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Whose car got hit by a tire at the Indianapolis 500?

The IndyStar, part of the USA TODAY Network, reported Robin Matthews, a racing fan from Indianapolis, was the owner of the car that was hit by the loose tire.

“I didn’t see it come down,” Matthews told Indy Star. “I came down and they said ‘Robin, it’s your car!’ I thought, ‘No.’ I thought somebody was pranking me.

“It’s a car. It’s fine.”

Matthews added she was grateful no one was seriously injured from the tire. IndyCar confirmed one person was transported to the infield care center after being struck by debris not from the tire during the crash. They were checked and released. Matthew's car suffered damage on its front left side near the headlight.

Matthews, who said she’s attended several Indy 500s in her life, walks away with a remarkable, if admittedly somewhat unwanted, story.

“It’s just a vehicle. Something we can replace," Matthews said.

Owner of car hit by tire gets to kiss the bricks

Matthew's car getting hit wasn't the end of her time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

After the race, WTHR reported Matthews was invited by Doug Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president, to take photos on the race track, and even let her kiss the bricks. Boles also arranged a ride home for Matthews, the outlet reported.

As for Matthew's car, nicknamed "Snowball," it was towed away from the race track, but its status is unknown.

Contributing: Zach Osterman and Rob Peeters, Indianapolis Star

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Owner of car hit by flying tire at Indianapolis 500 says 'it’s fine'