IMS readies for opening day - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

IMS readies for opening day

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SPEEDWAY, Ind. -

Gates to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway open this weekend, but today there will be at least one car taking laps around the track.  A special practice run takes place later this morning.

Michael Andretti will be coaching NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch, who will be taking a few test laps in an Indy car.  It's a free event, and comes just two days before the official opening of the Speedway for the month of May.  

There are some changes fans can expect at the track this year, like infield parking. In years past, it's been a free-for-all, first-come, first-served situation. People arriving at the track hours before any action created long lines along 16th Street just to get a good parking spot. 

This year, the Speedway will reserve parking in the infield. "Unless you have a parking pass, you're not going to be able to park in the infield on race day," said Speedway spokesman Doug Boles. "On practice days, you can, but on race day you can't."

Another change - security guards will be strongly enforcing the cooler rule all over the Speedway. "Someone could put a bigger cooler in their car," Boles explained, "but we will be policing it. So if you get out of your car, we're not going to allow you to take it outside of your car."

Boles said coolers must be no larger the 14 inches tall by 14 inches deep by 18 inches long.  

There will be an express lane for fans not carrying coolers, so you don't have to wait for those who need to be checked.

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Speedway officials say there will also be more security patrolling the grounds.

To see Kurt Busch turn laps today, fans can arrive at 8:30 a.m.

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