What Indy 500 fans at track need to know

Cars enter the first turn on the start of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 29, 2016. (AP Photo/R Brent Smith)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Motor Speedway is expecting a large crowd Sunday for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, the president of IMS said in a briefing Wednesday.

The speedway does not announce actual attendance figures, but Doug Boles said the crowd will be the best in 15 years, excepting last year’s 100th running, which was a record crowd of about 350,000.

Boles opened the briefing addressing security for the race in light of the Manchester, England, bombing, which killed 22 people and wounded scores at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night. The speedway has received no specific threats, he said.

Many security changes that first came in 2013 — following the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15 — will continue at this year’s race. Boles said security alterations in 2013 included changing gates, limiting what people could bring into the track and requiring identification for infield parking.

This year, however, fans will notice a greater presence across the speedway’s 275 acres of law enforcement personnel, both uniformed and plainclothes, Boles said.

By Thursday, speedway officials should know whether Vice President Mike Pence, Indiana’s former governor, will attend the race. It’s possible Pence will attend, Boles said, but the vice president’s office has given no confirmation to speedway leaders. However, the speedway is preparing as if Pence will visit the race, although he’s expected to attend only as a fan, not a celebrity participant, Boles said.

The speedway president also outlined general expectations for fans:

Boles said he expects to present additional briefings on Thursday and Saturday.

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