INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- The 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 is just days away.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles held a briefing Wednesday afternoon to give important operational information to fans before they head to the track.
Boles said while they aren't expecting to sell out the race this year, it may be the biggest crowd in 15 years, not including last year.
Security is going to be stepped up at the race this year in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing. Fans can expect to see more armed police presence than in the past. There will also be private security and undercover officers.
“We get a lot of asset support from our federal government. Much of which is asset support that is unseen and things that we cant talk about. But we feel will male the experience for the Indy 500 customer extremely more safe,” he said.
Vice President Mike Pence's attendance will also force additional security measures. Boles wasn't sure what that would entail and said IMS had yet to confirm Pence was coming.
Boles said that if Pence was coming, he'd be coming as a fan. He noted Pence has been to about 30 Indianapolis 500's and the Second Lady has probably been to more.
There are no currently known threats, but Boles said he's checking with authorities daily.
Parking for the race is completely sold out, at least for official IMS spots. He said to look to the Town of Speedway, where people offer parking for a price. He reminded fans to not just put IMS into a GPS and go, because you'll end up right in the middle of a traffic mess. Have a plan in place beforehand.
He told fans to be prepared and be patient, especially after the race. Those parked inside the facility can expect to wait about an hour after the race before they're able to leave.
“ Plan and prepare at home, know where you’re going to go, know where you’re going to park , come early and be patient,” he said.
Boles said the speedway will keep fans informed of any weather issues and will alert attendees using the big screens should any severe weather come through.
The Greatest Spectacle in Racing is set to begin Sunday at noon. Read more of our Indy 500 coverage here.
The Speedway Police Department, along with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff's Department and the Indiana State Police issued the following statement about security:
There is a comprehensive security plan in place for pre-race and race day events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Part of a good plan is not sharing specific details that could educate the very element that seeks to do harm. For that reason public safety personnel will not speak about components of our security plan, other than to share that each person visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is part of the security plan by being extra eyes and ears. As always, patrons are encouraged to be vigilant, and as we constantly remind the public; if you "See Something, Say Something." We would rather investigate a tip that turns out to be false than have a visitor dismiss something unusual and say nothing.