Indianapolis Motor Speedway prepares for Brickyard 400 weekend

IMS hopes to improve security, attendance

INDIANAPOLIS - As more than 100,000 fans make their way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a big race weekend, officials were hoping to avoid the same congestion and long lines that fans experienced during the Indianapolis 500.

For the Brickyard 400, track officials think they have found the balance between safety and fan convenience.

Some fans reported waiting for two hours to get through track security in May.

"It was pretty bad. There was people I guess that waited like two hours to get through the gate and were pretty upset about it,” fan Mark Short said.

IMS officials apologized to fans and blamed the slow foot traffic on newer and more thorough security measures.

Since the Indy 500, track officials collaborated with a consulting firm to improve the entry process.

They have added seven more entry gates, hired more staff and posted better signage.

Security will also enforce a new one-cooler-per-person rule.

"The first time with the Indy 500 might have been a faux pas, but now that they've learned from that experience they can get em through a little faster, but make sure everybody is safe," fan Michelle Rhinaman said.

The Brickyard 400 will be a big event for the track, fans and the local economy, but officials admit that ticket sales could be better.

“We’re not alone. NASCAR tracks across the country, entertainment in racing across the country, has struggled a little bit, so we’re doing what we can,” IMS President Doug Boles said.

Although the race did not sell out, officials still think that more than 100,000 people in one facility for one day was a good number for what they hope will be a great weekend in Indianapolis.

Follow Chance Walser on Twitter: @chancewalserrtv | Facebook: Chance Walser

Follow Jenna Kooi on Twitter: @jennakooi | Facebook: Jenna Kooi

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