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This Memorial Day weekend, the Indy 500 returns for its 98th run at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Gearing up for the 2014 Indianapolis 500

This Memorial Day weekend, the Indianapolis 500 returns for its 98th run. This sporting event, held annually, is a 500 mile race of 200 laps at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, just outside Indianapolis. As part of the Indy Car Series, this event is one of the most prestigious worldwide, one of the oldest, and held in the world’s largest sporting facility in terms of capacity. Needless to say, the anticipation up to this event is already building.

Indy 500

This year, a few special announcements have already been made, big news for race fans worldwide. First, retired IndyCar driver and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti is set to be the pace car driver. Franchitti was forced into retirement after injuries back in November, but he is making a semi-comeback driving the pace car for the race this year, which happens to be a Camaro Z/28, the 8th time a Camaro has served as the pace car. The second big piece of news just announced this week is the retirement of 83-year-old Jim Nabors, who has been a part of this race since 1987. His reasons for retirement are health-related but he plans to go out on top, singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” for the final time before the 2014 Indianapolis 500 begins. The first time this song was sang was back in 1972 and has become a traditional part of the event ever since.

As race fans all over the world are already gearing up for the event, Indianapolis is also making preparations of its own. If you are interested in planning a trip out to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, consider staying in the city of Indianapolis. Even before checking on tickets, check for lodging as hotels in Indianapolis, just inside the city, fill up rather quickly.  To check the availability for tickets, go to the official Indianapolis 500 website. In addition to the race, there are tons of things to do, which includes a great concert line up this year. On Friday, May 23, legend Sammy Hagar and the reggae rock group Sublime With Rome take the stage at the 2014 Coors Light Carb Day, taking place on the all new Turn 4 Coors Light Stage. Jason Aldean goes on stage Saturday, May 24th, as part of the annual Legends Day, this year honoring Mario Andretti. And if you want to make a week of it, practices start Monday, May 12th and run through to the qualifying event on Thursday, May 22nd. For a full line up of all scheduled events, race related or otherwise, you can visit their official website, but if you are thinking of attending this year’s race, tickets are already a hot commodity.

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About Alyssa Sellors

Alyssa Sellors was an English and Journalism educator for eight years and now works as a freelance writer and journalist. She is a regular contributor to a number of publications. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her husband, baby boy, and two chihuahuas.

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