Jim Nabors to make final Indy 500 performance _lowres

Jim Nabors sings his annual rendition of "Back Home Again in Indiana" before the start of the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in this May 2004 file photo. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — 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.