Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, a lacrosse buff at his first car race, said it was a challenge to essentially shut down "the bottom third of the city" but he said the proof of success will be determined not by the size of the crowd but by whether "the people are safe and having a good time."
"When the cars hit the track, there was a surge of energy through the crowd," said Bealefeld.
His spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, joked that the city left the speed cameras on. "That's how we'll collect revenue," he said.
The streets outside the race were nearly as packed as those inside, as spectators without tickets angled for a glimpse of the course.