The Herald Bulletin

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May 26, 2013

Indy 500 fans angered by long lines to enter track



The long waits were the only blemish on an otherwise smooth - but chilly - race day.

The air temperature at the track was 62 degrees at the start of the race and rose to 65 degrees by its end. That made Sunday's race the coldest since 2003. Last year's race neared a record high.

Actor Jim Nabors was back to sing "Back Home Again in Indiana," his 34th live performance at the race since 1972. San Francisco 49ers coach John Harbaugh drove the pace car and former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was among those in attendance.

The race featured some new attractions, including a zip line in one fan area, and was missing the traditional Indiana National Guard military jet flyover. The fighter jets, which were grounded by federal budget cuts, were replaced by six privately owned World War II military planes. Jim Buddenbaum of Indianapolis said the vintage flyover as Christian singer Sandi Patty sang the national anthem was "a little anticlimactic."

His sister, Mary Buddenbaum, who was attending her first Indy 500 in 40 years, said she enjoyed seeing the older planes but was disappointed to miss the fighter jets.

"I thought that was great, but it would have been exciting to see the jets come over - to see both," she said.

Wade Cox, a 50-year-old delivery truck driver from Terre Haute, said the vintage planes were a nice change.

"It don't have to be the new stuff," said Cox, who has attended four other Indy 500s. "One year they had a B-52 fly over and I thought it was great. People need to see some of that old stuff."

Michael Pena, star of the upcoming animated auto racing film "Turbo" and the honorary starter for the race, said he was amazed by the energy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during his first trip to the track.

"It's one thing seeing it on television, but being here is something else," he said. "There's a definite energy - when there's a car going by, 'vroom' - you know what I mean? It's crazy."

"Turbo" features an underdog snail that dreams of racing in the Indy 500.

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