Few have a deeper, richer tradition at the Indianapolis 500 than Jim Nabors. Since James Melton's 1946 performance of "Back Home Again in Indiana" many have sang the tune during pre-race festivities, but no one more popular than the former actor.
Nabors, who was called on as a last minute replacement, first sang the anthem in 1972. Made famous by his portrayal of 'Gomer Pyle', Nabors has taken the IMS stage 34 times, missing only a handful of events in the 42 years since his inaugural performance.
In an article published in Nabors' Honolulu, Hawaii hometown paper The MidWeek, author Jaimie Kim writes that 2014 will be his final pre-race performance at the Greatest Spectacle In Racing.
From fill-in substitute singer to a legend deeply entrenched in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history, Nabors himself will leave behind some rather large shoes to fill.