SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 21, 2015)-- With race weekend almost here, all eyes are turning to lot 1C, known as the Coke Lot, to see if new security measures will prevent a repeat of last year's violence. The heightened security comes after a man was shot and killed in that camping lot last year.
Thursday, race fans and other campers started filling up lot 1C ahead of this weekend's Indianapolis 500. But they were greeted with new rules and regulations aimed at keeping things under control.
It's not a holiday, but for some the Indy 500 sure does feel like one.
"It's like four days of Christmas," said Scott Trout.
Campers like Evan Frye and his buddies in the Coke Lot noticed major security changes right away.
"What I've seen so far, things will be a lot safer this year," he said.
The plan comes on the heels of a murder in the lot last year, where 25-year-old Max Levine was shot and killed. The area's been notorious for violence and wild partying in the past.
"There will be a large number of officers working," said Lt. Trent Theobald, with Speedway Police.
The stepped up multi-agency presence is just one part of Indianapolis Motor Speedway's security plan. They've also brought in more lights to illuminate the area after dark. Track officials are handing out wristbands, which are required for those who are staying in the Coke Lot.
And a 1 a.m. curfew mandates that campers must stay in their designated areas.
"Our guests will see a significant increase in police officers, as much as two to three times as many as there've been in the past. And could be as many as fifty or sixty police officers wandering through there," said Doug Boles, IMS President.
More important for campers, police said, is the phrase 'see something, say something.' They're advising anyone in the lot to tell authorities of anything suspicious, so any bad behavior can be controlled, quickly.
"If they see someone causing trouble, let the police know. Let the security know. That way we can come in and address the situation," Theobald said.
Thursday, some fans said so far, so good.
"Hopefully it's better, looks pretty good so far," said Trout.
Many aren't focused on the security but the party.