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Back home again in Indiana. The words are simple, yet their meaning is deep. Every year, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing is preceded by the greatest fans in racing singing the greatest song in racing. 300,000 strong, each harmony unique, some slurred (you know why). But that won’t happen this year, at least not in May.

The tune has been performed every Memorial Day weekend since the 30th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1946. Jim Nabors made it famous. Jim Cornelison made it grand. And Slick Leonard – he made it pure.

The Pacers legend joined Thursday’s Fan Morning Show with Jeff & Big Joe for his usual ‘Story Time with Slick’ segment, but this particular interview was one for the ages.

Leonard recounted memories of his first 500 back in 1950, including his time in the infield:

“The old beer cans were flyin’, and everybody was havin’ a great time. And you’re just walking around in a quagmire, there was just mud all over the place.”

Johnnie Parsons, the only race winner to have his name spelled incorrectly on the famous Borg-Warner Trophy, took home the checkered flag that year.

“The month of May has always been a wonderful month, and I’m sure we’re gonna get some sunshine and everything for the race this year,” Leonard said.

“It’s a biggie, and [I’m] really looking forward to it…It’s a great experience. I love it. I loved it when they sang ‘Back Home Again In Indiana’. I loved that.”

And with a little encouragement from Jeff and Big Joe, Slick Leonard sang the iconic song he loves oh so much live on-air:

Even if you’re not a Hoosier, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home. And like Slick, we all long to be back again as soon as we can.


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