INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is remembering actress Florence Henderson as a ''lovely lady'' who sang nearly two dozen times during Indianapolis 500 pre-race festivities.
The Indiana-born actress best known as Carol Brady on ''The Brady Bunch'' died Thursday in Los Angeles at age 82. She was born in Dale, a small southwestern Indiana town near the Ohio River, the 10th child of a tobacco sharecropper.
Speedway President Doug Boles said in a Friday statement that Henderson had a passion for the ''special moments'' leading up to the command for drivers to start their engines for the annual race, held each May.
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''We thank her for her friendship and love for our sport and her friends and family will be in our prayers,'' he said. ''She was a lovely lady and she will be missed.''
Between 1991 and 2015, Henderson sang ''America the Beautiful,'' ''God Bless America'' or ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' 23 times during pre-race festivities. She served as grand marshal for this year's pre-race parade, riding in a parade car at the front of the 33 competing drivers.
Henderson said during a pre-race interview that she enjoyed the change of pace, of being freed from a singing commitment at the race.
''This year, I get to be out here and talk to everyone. It's great,'' Henderson told The Indianapolis Star. ''… Just to hear the crowd at the parade was absolutely fantastic.''