Indy 500 re-scheduled for August due to coronavirus

Paola Ditto
Marzo 27, 2020

The Indianapolis 500 has been postponed until August because of the coronavirus pandemic and won't run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1946.

It will be the first time that the Indy 500 will be run outside the month of May.

That race will now be run on 4 July, a day before NASCAR races at The Brickyard.

It was an inevitable decision but still had to be hard for Roger Penske, who completed his purchase of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar in January and has already pumped millions into capital improvements to ready the historic venue for its first 500 under new ownership.

"However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe that postponing the event is the responsible decision with the conditions and restrictions we are facing", he said on Thursday (Friday NZ time). The first Indianapolis 500 was in 1911.

"We're grateful for the patience of our fans as we've navigated this situation, and we extend our thanks to NBC for its terrific partnership and diligent work to maximise broadcast coverage with this new schedule".

The Indy Grand Prix will open an unprecedented double-header featuring the first Indy road course race for NASCAR, the closed-cockpit stock vehicle series that is the most popular form of United States auto racing. President and CEO Mark Miles said.

According IndyCar, enhanced measures like higher frequency of cleaning, more hand-sanitizing stations and reducing hand-to-hand interactions between staff and customers will be in place when activity resumes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Tony Hulman bought the neglected speedway after the second war and the Indy 500 returned Memorial Day weekend of 1946 and has been scheduled for that weekend every year since.

To accommodate the Indy 500 shift, an August 16 race at Mid-Ohio was moved to August 9 and the Gateway 500 near St. Louis will be contested August 30, eight days later than originally planned.

The postponement of the two IndyCar races at IMS means that the IndyCar Series is now set to start on May 30 with the first of back-to-back races in Detroit.

After the revamped August run, IndyCar concludes with events at Portland and Laguna Seca but IndyCar listed an "expected finale TBD" 14th race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

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