Security high on Indy 500 agenda

Security measures for this weekend's Indianapolis 500 have been described as "solid" with regard to the perceived increase in the threat of terrorist attack. The race will be the first major US sporting event since the US government raised its terror alert procedure to 'orange'.

Security high on Indy 500 agenda

The Indy 500 gets the world's biggest single-day spectator attendance, which will include former US presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush. Beer coolers, handbags and backpacks will be subject to inspection at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway gates. Also, Georgetown Road, a busy street next to the track, will be closed to vehicles during the race.

Plain-clothes police will be stationed outside the track and throughout the Speedway grounds. Police chief Jeffrey L. Dine said: "We are in constant contact with the FBI and the secret service [sic] on a daily basis to determine if, in fact, any credible information has come in from anywhere throughout the nation."

After weeks of doubt, a full field of cars is set to run at Indy. Nine drivers made it into the field during the final day of qualifying, to complete the traditional 33-car grid for the race. The Indy 500 has not started with fewer than 33 cars since 1947!

The drivers in this, the 87th 500, have accrued 154 IRL or CART wins, 12 IRL or CART championships and six Indianapolis 500 wins. Twenty of the 33 starters are American, six are from Brazil, three from Japan and one each from England, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden. The race starts on Sunday at 11:00am (EDT).

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