Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that legendary Indianapolis 500 icon Jim Nabors will sing “(Back Home Again in) Indiana” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the final time prior to the start of the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25.
“The first time that I ever sang at the Indy 500 in 1972, the warmth I got from the crowd immediately made me become a lifetime Hoosier; and I’ve always cherished it,” Nabors said. “I’ll see you all in May; but I’ve come to the conclusion that my health doesn’t permit me to travel very much anymore. So I’ll be retiring from singing ‘Back Home Again’ at the Indy 500 after this year.
“I want to give a special thanks to everyone; and particularly the Hulman George family, who have a special place in my heart and are my wonderful friends. I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Nabors’ song became a tradition of the race when he first sang it back in 1972. Since then, Nabors has performed the song 34 times in person at IMS accompanied by the Purdue “All American” Marching Band. The 83-year-old has performed at the race every year since 1987 with the exception of 2007 and 2012 races that he missed due to illness.
“There are many special moments leading up to the start of the Indianapolis 500, but one of the most anticipated every year is when Jim Nabors sings ‘Back Home Again in Indiana,”’ said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “This year will be even more special as Indianapolis 500 fans will cheer not only for what the song means but for what Jim Nabors has meant to the Indianapolis 500.”