Big Race - Indy

IMS increasing event purse, investing millions in tech, infrastructure and fan experience

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials gathered at the track Friday afternoon to announce new improvements and investments coming to the Indianapolis 500.

The reveal was announced exactly 100 days from the big race.

The event purse will now be the largest in the event’s history with more than $15 million. Changes are also coming to qualifying weekend.

“I am very excited about the enhancements to qualifying weekend, the largest-ever ‘500’ purse, new sponsors and the significant investments we are making to the INDYCAR SERIES and to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Roger Penske.

According to officials, the Last Row Shootout will expand to 75 minutes and speeds will be boosted with an increase in horsepower by 45 HP.

Six new sponsors have also been added to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Those sponsors include: Pennzoil, Verizon, Snap-on Tools, DEX Imaging, “Road & Track” magazine and Global Medical Response.

Additionally, millions of dollars will be invested in fan experience. With those investments come technology upgrades, including large video boards, monitors and an IMS Media Wall, as well as improvements to infrastructure. Pedestrian lanes are being widened and more than 100 restrooms are being renovated. The fan experience investments will be completed before the gates open for the Month of May on May 8, track officials said.

You can see a more detailed plan here.


Neighbors stunned by shooting in ‘safe,’ ‘quiet’ Eagles Watch subdivision

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH ) — The Eagles Watch subdivision on the city’s northwest side is home to dozens of families.

“It’s very quiet here,” said Irma Molina, who lives on Eagles Watch Drive.

The winding road is often touted as an oasis of safety, seemingly removed from the city’s crime crisis, according to Jeremy Layly, who lives down the street from Molina.

He walks his dogs through the neighborhood every night without worrying about what he’ll encounter in the dark.

On Thursday night, his walk led him toward flashing police lights and crime scene tape. 

Detectives were collecting evidence from the scene of a shooting in the 5000 block of Eagles Watch Drive, less than a quarter of a mile from Layly’s home.

“I’ve heard gunshots [before] but not in the neighborhood,” he told News 8. “That’s intense.”

Officers arrived around 4 p.m. after neighbors reported hearing gunshots. An unidentified man was pronounced dead at the scene.

No arrests had been made Thursday night. No suspect information was available.

The shooting appeared to be targeted and did not pose an immediate threat to public safety, police said.

“[Detectives are] working hard to solve these crimes and to prevent crimes,” said Michael Hewitt, a spokesperson for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD).

Molina, whose home was within the police perimeter, ducked under the yellow tape to speak with News 8.

She and her son still feel safe living on Eagles Creek Drive, she said, but she is wary of rising crime in other parts of the city.

“It is very dangerous lately,” Molina said in Spanish. “Many crimes have happened.”

Anybody with information about the shooting is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.