INDIANAPOLIS—A random thud in a venue full of noise led to an unexpected treasure for a visitor.
"I heard a huge clang in the dumpster," said Chris DeHarde, a native of Luling, Louisiana, who at that point was standing near the Andretti Autosport garage on Sunday morning.
Curiosity brought the student at Louisiana State University towards the garbage bin, and believe it or not, an award waited for him.
Inside was the right rear endplate from the wing of the car of Tony Kanaan, scarped and beaten up from his accident on Sunday morning during practice before bump day qualifying. DeHarde went into the dumpster to pick up the rare collectible.
"I helped one guy get one endplate, and then I got the other endplate, so we split the difference," said DeHarde of his excursion into the giant trash bin.
With Kanaan's status in the race in question all the way up until the final gun at 6 P.M. on Sunday afternoon, the fan decided to wait to get the driver to sign the piece of his wrecked car. The best opportunity came on Wednesday afternoon at community day, when DeHarde waited and hour-and-a-half to get the plate signed by the Kanaan.
The driver was cordial when signing it in the middle of the afternoon, as the two exchanged a few laughs over this unusual Indianapolis 500 souvenir.
"He can look back at that trouble and say 'Oh, yea, we were in that trouble, but now we're good, we're in the race, so we're happy," said DeHarde.
To see the wing plate and hear more from DeHarde, click on the video above.