INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials say they're working on ways to make sure fans for this weekend's Brickyard 400 don't face the same long security lines that frustrated many people at the Indianapolis 500 in May.
Heavier security imposed after the Boston Marathon bombings angered thousands of Indy 500 fans who stood in line for up to two hours. Some fans reached the gates only to be told that they had to lug their coolers back to their cars parked blocks away because of new size restrictions.
There will be new restrictions on cooler sizes and what can be in them because of the amount of time it takes to search the coolers.
Officials said those attending the race will only be allowed to bring one small bag and one cooler per person.
The policies are similar to what was seen during the Indy 500, but the searches that day created long lines and long waits to get into the race.
"This year was the first year that we wanted to really try to inspect every cooler and bag, so we underestimated how long that process would take," said IMPS President Doug Boles.
Instead of the only 11 entry gates in May, there will be 18 gates with more than double the lanes. There will be 160 lanes instead of 70.
There will be more than 600 staff members working the gates, instead of the 350 that worked during the Indianapolis 500.
"We're also going to have someone on top of the penthouse who's kinda our air traffic control, paying attention to what's going on and then radioing the gates and the gates will have audio communication. So if the gates here, the main gate seems to be backed up, but if a gate 100 yards away has less people, we're going to be able to tell them that you can walk for 30 seconds and get in. So we're going to try to disperse that traffic a little better," Boles said.
Crowds for the Brickyard 400 should be smaller and fans will have more time to get inside with a later race starting time.
Boles encouraged people to come early and said he hopes fans will only experience a 15 to 20 minute wait to get into the race.
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