Gaga replaces country music star Keith Urban, ##Indy 500 live## who dropped out because of a back injury. Andretti and Gaga will follow four parade cars and lead the official pace car on three laps before the race.
In traffic news: While there is no fast route to get to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 21st Street appears to be an especially slow way to get there.
Twitter user @ematurne posted that “traffic is backed up on 21st Street almost to Raceway Road” – which is more than five miles from the track.
Backups are the norm, though, on every street leading to IMS. About three hours before the Indianapolis 500 was set to begin, social media users were mostly expressing frustration.
“I feel like every traffic report is pointless now,” Twitter user @julesia18 posted. “All routes in are backed up.”
Julia Goldberg @julesia18 – I feel like every traffic report is pointless now. All routes in are backed up. #Indy500
Not everyone is lamenting the long wait times, though. Some see it as a positive sign for Indianapolis’ beloved race.
“The Indy500 hasn’t seen traffic like this for years,” Twitter user @Gooder_English posted. “It’s good to see again.”
One Indy 500 veteran, Twitter user @MikeBudzik, offered a suggestion for those frustrated with the backups.
“We used to get out & play Frisbee with other race fans stuck in traffic,” he said.
Mike Budzik @MikeBudzik – SO to everyone making the map RED! We used to get out & play frisbee with other race fans stuck in traffic #Indy500
Authorities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are also giving fans a heads-up today on gates with the shortest wait times:
Indy Motor Speedway @IMS – #Indy500 pro tip from our ticket team. These gates currently have the shortest lines:
5A (Gtwn Rd)
5C (Gtwn Rd)
9:07 a.m. update
Crowds are pouring into the Snake Pit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this morning, which is expected to attract double the crowd size from 2014.
Officials attribute the sellout of 30,000 tickets to the magnitude of the 100th running.
7 Just south of gate 9
7:24 PM – 29 May 2016
Can’t believe how busy it already is in the #indy500snakepit. B.O.A.T. on now.
Headliner DJ Skrillex is backed up with an impressive electronic lineup: Martin Garrix, Zeds Dead, DJ Mustard and B.O.A.T.
Police officers from departments in Lebanon and Newcastle told IndyStar reporter Amy Bartner they are loosing for overdoses in the typical “party crowd.”
@AmyBartner – ALREADY see a dude laying on his back in the grass. He’s swatting away his buddy trying to wake him. It’s so early, bros. #Indy500SnakePit
Meanwhile, the crowd of race fans trying to get into the IMS is growing thicker. According to police radio traffic, gates 1, 6 and 9 are busiest, and visitors are encouraged to head to other entrances.
Joe Tamborello – @joetamborello
Here’s the current situation at the @IMS main gate.
8:43 a.m. update
There’s good news and bad news for anyone trying to get to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this morning.
The traffic is horrible – but, so far, it’s no worse than any other race day.
As of 8:30 a.m., there were no major accidents reported near the IMS, Speedway Police Lt. Trent Theobald said.
“Traffic’s not moving real fast, but that’s to be expected just like any morning when people are driving to the track,” Theobald said. “It’s a typical race day morning.”
Some race fans sought to beat the traffic. The first people in line camped out on Saturday night to avoid a rush when the gates opened at 6 a.m. Sunday.
Robert Walters slept on a Speedway woman’s porch after traveling 27 hours from Jacksonville, Florida. He rode a Greyhound bus to Indianapolis to attend the 100th running.
“I got up at 4:30 a.m. and walked down here because I knew there was going to be a long line,” Walters said. “It amazed me that it looks like it did back in the 70s.”
Walters said last year was the greatest race he’s witnessed in 40 years. Multiple crashes shook up the competition during the 99th running.
The excitement that year brought race fan Matthew Jacobs back for more this year.
Jacobs, who traveled from Van Wert, Ohio, was one of the first fans in line at Gate 1. He left home at about 2 a.m. Sunday to attend the historic race.
“It’s all exciting,” Jacobs said before the ceremonial cannon fired at 6 a.m. Hundreds of fans cheered as they passed through the gate while security kept a close watch on coolers, bags and other pieces of race gear.
8:02 a.m. update
Some late-breaking celebrity news:
Dave Lindquist @317lindquist –
Report: Lady Gaga in town before historic #Indy500 — http://indy.st/20Q17je #100thRunning
IndyStar’s Dave Lindquist reports that while the ‘Bad Romance’ singer hasn’t been listed among personalities expected to walk the red carpet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, she was spotted at a race party Saturday at Regions Tower Rooftop Terrace in ##indy 500 live##.
Meanwhile, a late drop-out from country music star Keith Urban:
7:31 a.m. update
Things are looking bright once you get to the track. Read More From: indystar.com