SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Fast cars, packed seats and sunny skies; it was the picturesque definition of a day in May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“It’s beautiful, we couldn’t ask for anything better,” said Karen Stevenson of Monrovia, one the several thousand people who filled the track for pole day.
“It’s been a great crowd and we’ve had no incidents today,” said Speedway Police Department Lt. Trent Theobald.
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His statement was true for inside IMS, but outside it was a slightly different story.
Fans with hard tickets get them scanned upon entry, and a few people trying to get in at the new main gate ran into a problem. Their tickets wouldn’t scan, meaning they had already been used. Ticket brokers said rather than being sold a fake ticket, people are more likely to be sold a ticket that’s been used.
Another issue police said has happened recently involves infield parking passes. Those have been sold out, however, fans are being tricked into buying bogus passes.
“If they are trying to sell you passes outside the track it’s probably too good to be true,” Theobald warned. “Know going into it that all parking is sold out inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the racing event coming up for the Indy 500.”
Parking will be at a premium that day since hundreds of thousands of people will fill the stands and keeping them safe will be its own monumental undertaking.
New surveillance cameras were added near the new Gate 1 to handle the masses.
But from the iconic yellow shirts to the FBI to the Indiana State Troopers, Theobald said the security team is prepared.
Fans we talked with at the track trust that will be the case.
“I think they’re doing their due diligence to make sure that they’ll do their part to keep people safe, keep it secure, and make sure it’s an enjoyable atmosphere for everybody; so no, no concerns,” fan Geoff Ziegler of Brownsburg said.
Safety officials released this additional advice ahead of last year’s Indy 500:
- Do not hesitate to ask questions.
- Ask for a receipt or tag for your dashboard.
- Ask who owns the lot and if there are time limits.
- Does the person look like they are a parking attendant?
- If you are parking a car, empty it of any valuables you don’t actually need.
- Before leaving your vehicle, make sure your car doors are locked.
- Do not leave valuables in plain sight. Put them in the trunk.
- Plan to have sober drivers at your party who can escort folks home.
- Be prepared for guests to spend the night if an alternative way home is not available.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast.
- Pace yourself—eat enough food and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
- Designate before you celebrate.
- Put your valuables in your front pocket.
- Women make sure your purse is zipped; hold it close to your body and towards the front.
- To stay safe in crowds leave the extra credit cards at home and only carry what you need in a concealed place.