SPEEDWAY – New security measures during the Indianapolis 500 brought some peace of mind to fans but also a little anger because of the wait.
Long lines stretched at the entry points of the 97th running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” as the new cooler restrictions in response to the Boston Marathon bombings made for lengthy delays entering the track.
In hopes to stop that from happening during the Super Weekend, starting Friday the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced a new entry plan which will give fans 90 more places to enter the track for sports car and NASCAR racing.
Per a release from the Speedway on Monday night, the number of entry lanes for Sunday’s Brickyard 400 to the races will increase from 70 to over 160.
“We know that many of our fans experienced a slow entry into IMS on Indianapolis 500 Race Day in May,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president, in a release from the Speedway on Monday. “We’re very sorry that this happened on such an important day of the year for all of us.We have spent a significant amount of time and effort developing a new gate entry plan that takes the necessary and important steps to ensure smoother entry to the facility – while still focusing on the safety of our fans.
“We are hopeful that this enhanced gate plan improves the overall fan experience at the Speedway, which is of the utmost importance to us.”
To make this happen, an increase in entry lanes will be made from Gates 11-18 along with a new entry plan for the 16th Street gate. At Gate 9 at 25th and Georgetown, a new “funnel” system of entry will be tried in hopes of getting fans in quicker by doing bag and cooler checks before the gate.
As they did for the Indianapolis 500 in May, only one cooler-per-person will be allowed and the side of the cooler cannot exceed 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches.