Security measures increased at IMS

Campers start race weekend in Lot 1C, formerly referred to as the Coke Lot. (WISH Photo)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) – There is a stronger sense of security outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, before the big race.

There are new rules in place to keep all visitors and campers better protected throughout the nights.

The rules apply to the campgrounds including Lot 1C, formally known as the Coke Lot. There has not been change, but police hope what has changed will ensure campers have a safe weekend.

“You’re going to hear a lot of loud music, you’re going to see a lot scantily clad people,” said racing fan Michael Togni, standing outside his camp site.

There will be plenty of partying, something Togni and his friends have experience with.

“It’s a tradition that’s we’ve been doing. I’ve coming to this race now for 36 years, 30 of which here in the Coke Lot, (Lot) 1C,” said Togni.

Lot 1C is a place where the American flag colors of red, white and blue are always on display, but a new neon color in the form of wristbands will also have to be shown by every camper this weekend.

“Enhanced security measures because of what happened last year,” said Togni.

Last year, the red white and blue colors were flashing police lights. On the Friday night before the race, 25-year-old Max Levine was shot and killed in Lot 1C.

Another person was shot a few days later but luckily, survived.

“Unfortunate, with the loss of any life. It was difficult,” said Lt. Trent Theobald, with Speedway Police Department. “And for our agencies to kind of look back at some of these incidents, we come together to say ‘What can we do to help ensure the safety and make the security measures closer?'”

The bracelets ensure only people who paid to be in Lot 1C will be there.

On top of that, parking spots were assigned and a 1:00 am curfew will be enforced for all campers.

“It’s unfortunate that was needed, but I think it’s gonna keep a lot of the troublemakers out and a lot of the riff raff out of here,” said Togni.

Many campers felt the same way about the additional security, but Togni chalked it up as a new tradition for his holiday weekend.

“This is my Christmas, this is all of our Christmas’ really,” he said pointing to his group of friends.

The new rules don’t only apply to Lot 1C, because all campgrounds owned by IMS will have to follow them.

Speedway police said officers from different agencies will be patrolling the campgrounds, including excise police who patrol in plain clothes, walking through camps looking for underage drinkers.

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