INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Once is a tryout. Twice is a repeat performance.
A third time is the start of a new tradition.
Indianapolis 500 organizers announced Thursday that Jim Cornelison would return to sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Cornelison is known to sports fans for his rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Chicago Blackhawks games. He performed “Back Home Again in Indiana” for the first time during pre-race festivities in 2017 and returned in 2018. He’s delivered each time, thrilling race fans with his booming voice. He is a graduate of the Master of Music program at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
Cornelison was the first performer to sing the song in consecutive years since Jim Nabors announced his retirement in 2014. Nabors performed it 36 times between 1972 and 2014. After his retirement, the track turned to Straight No Chaser in 2015 and The Voice winner Josh Kaufman in 2016, but it appears Cornelison has captured the hearts of racing fans nationwide.
“Performing at the Indianapolis 500 is one of the ultimate highlights and privileges of my career, as the electricity and magic of Race Day are incredible,” Cornelison said. “I’m so grateful for the warm welcome from Indy 500 and IndyCar Series fans around the world and am excited to sing at even more events.”
IMS President Doug Boles said Cornelison’s voice has become familiar to fans, who are now anticipating that he’ll sing during pre-race ceremonies.
“Everyone loves Jim and his passion for IMS and IndyCar, and his stirring pre-race performances are becoming a Month of May highlight for everyone,” Boles said.
The 103rd Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 26, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Learn more at Indy500.com.