Report: Jim Nabors to Return to Indy 500 in 2013

On Tuesday evening, WTHR.com reported that Jim Nabors will make the trip to Indianapolis this month.

The singer, whose performances of “Back Home Again in Indiana” have become a cherished Indianapolis 500 tradition, missed last year’s race due to health concerns. As consolation, he taped a rendition of the song from his home in Hawaii, which was played on monitors at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the 2012 race.

The past year has been an eventful one for the former star of the Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, USMC. After having heart-valve surgery last spring, he came out of the closet in early 2013.

As of this morning, IMS still had not officially announced Nabors’s return, and the WTHR post doesn’t identify a source for the news. WTHR assignment editor Kyle Thomas told May Madness that the report came from sports director Dave Calabro, who moonlights at the Speedway as a PA announcer.

Since first joining Indianapolis Monthly in 2000, West has written about a wide range of subjects including crime, history, arts and entertainment, pop culture, politics, and food. His feature stories have twice been noted in the Best American Sports Writing anthology and have received top honors from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. “The Collapse,” West’s account of the 2011 Indiana State Fair tragedy, was a 2013 National City and Regional Magazine Awards finalist in the category of Best Reporting. He lives on the near-east side.