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Jim Nabors to make final Indy 500 performance

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 4:11 pm

INDIANAPOLIS — Actor Jim Nabors says this year's Indianapolis 500 will be the last time he performs "Back Home Again in Indiana" live to a global audience of race fans.

The 83-year-old Nabors says his health limits his travels from his home in Hawaii, so he'll be "retiring" from singing the ode at the Indianapolis 500 after the May 25 race.

Nabors' rendition of the song has become a traditional part of the pre-race events since he first performed it in 1972.

The actor best known as television's Gomer Pyle has performed the song live at the race every year since 1987 with the exception of 2007 and 2012. This year will be his 35th performance.

Nabors says he's "loved every minute" of singing the song before the race over the decades.