104th Indianapolis 500 rescheduled for Sunday, Aug. 23

Coronavirus
Simon Pagenaud

FILE – In this May 26, 2019, file photo, Simon Pagenaud, of France, crosses the start/finish line on the start of the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis. Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series have been sold to Penske Entertainment Corp. in a stunning announcement that relinquishes control of the iconic speedway from the Hulman family after 74 years.
(AP Photo/Rob Baker, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WDTN) – The Indianapolis 500 has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials from INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) said Thursday. The 104th edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will air live on WDTN, with the official green flag time to be announced at a later date.

The GMR Grand Prix will transition to Saturday, July 4 on the IMS road course as part of a historic double-header featuring the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and NASCAR. This first-of-its-kind racing event also will be televised by NBC on Independence Day. The Indianapolis 500 was originally scheduled for Sunday, May 24, in its traditional spot on the calendar during Memorial Day weekend. The GMR Grand Prix was scheduled to be run on Saturday, May 9.

“The Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favorite time of year, and like our fans, I am disappointed that we have had to reschedule the Indianapolis 500,” Roger Penske said. “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. We will continue to focus on ways we can enhance the customer experience in the months ahead, and I’m confident we will welcome fans with a transformed facility and a global spectacle when we run the world’s greatest race.”

“Memorial Day weekend has always provided Indianapolis 500 fans an opportunity to honor the men and women who have fought and sacrificed for our nation’s freedom,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said. “This August, we’ll also have a unique and powerful opportunity to honor the contributions and heroism of the doctors, nurses, first responders and National Guard members serving on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. 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 maximize broadcast coverage with this new schedule.”

On-track action in August will begin at IMS with practice sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 12-13, followed by Fast Friday on Aug. 14 and Indianapolis 500 Qualifications on Saturday and Sunday Aug. 15-16. Each day of qualifications will be televised on NBC, providing more network coverage of qualifications for fans than in 2019. A full broadcast schedule will be released soon, IMS officials said.

As a result of the schedule changes at IMS, the INDYCAR races scheduled for Aug. 16 and Aug. 22 have been rescheduled. The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio is now scheduled for Aug. 9, and the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway is now scheduled for Aug. 30.

All concerts scheduled for the original Race Weekend in May have been canceled. This includes REO Speedwagon and Styx on Friday, May 22, Luke Bryan on Saturday, May 23 and Martin Garrix on Sunday, May 24.

This decision was made to provide the maximum flexibility possible to complete the Indianapolis 500 by Sunday, Aug. 23 and provide room for any contingency plans necessary. IMS said it appreciates the understanding of fans and regrets that the COVID-19 situation has caused the cancellation of these events.

Fans who made concert-specific purchases will receive a credit for any IMS event, including the Indy 500, or choose to receive a refund. IMS concert customers will receive further communication on how to exercise their ticketing options.

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