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Partial Solar Eclipse

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SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Six years ago the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced they would be hosting a watch party when it became known that Indiana would be in the path of totality of a solar eclipse set to happen on Monday, April 8th.

Since then, IMS President Doug Boles says he and the rest of the staff at the track have been getting a fun-filled day ready for about 40,000 people they expect to be there when the moon’s shadow passes over central Indiana.

“This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,” he said. “It won’t happen again until the 237th running of the Indianapolis 500. We are coming up on 108 so we have a long way for it to happen again.”

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will open its doors in the morning and will have lots of activities for people to engage in while they wait for the eclipse, as well as wait for a good time to leave after the eclipse. Boles says you should come prepared.

“Traffic everywhere is likely to be as busy as we’ve ever seen it,” said Boles. “That’s going to be the biggest challenge, I think. Just making sure people know to get places early and then kind of stay.”

Boles said they will open up the infield for people to set up a place to watch the eclipse. They will also open up the grandstands behind pit lane and on top of the F1 garages along the front straightaway. The outside grandstands will remain closed because he says most of those grandstands do not offer a good view of the sun.

Among the activities they have planned are a track walk and even some demo laps around the track by Ed Carpenter. Boles said they plan to use the eclipse as an opportunity to introduce people to the track who have never been there before.

“Of those 40,000 people we expect to be here, about 75-percent of them have never been here before,” Boles said. “So it is a great opportunity to introduce brand new customers to the track.”

There will also be astronauts and scientists from Purdue University, whom IMS is partnering with for the event, on hand to help educate people about the nuisances of the eclipse.

Listen to the full interview with IMS President Doug Boles:

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