Indy 500 Pushed Back Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Ross Houston
March 29, 2020

The 2020 Indianapolis 500 will not be run on its scheduled May 24 start date, IndyCar and IMS announced Thursday afternoon, which would make the 104th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing the first edition not to be completed during the month of May.

The organisation of the Indy 500 held on to the traditional May month for a long time, but now that more than 75,000 infections have been diagnosed in the US, even the biggest race of the season has to take its place.

"The month of Could on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favourite time of 12 months, and like our followers, I'm disillusioned that now we have needed to reschedule the Indianapolis 500", stated Roger Penske, the motorsports titan who finalized his buy of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this 12 months.

Also re-scheduled was the May 9 GMR Grand Prix, which will now be run on July 4. The health and safety of all associated with this event will remain the priority of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. It'll be the first time that the IndyCar Series and NASCAR Cup Series have run at the same facility on the same weekend and the IndyCar race will be held on the same day as the Xfinity Series race on the road course. The unique holiday racing lineup will mark the first time that the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will compete at the same track on the same weekend as both the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series.

From 1911 to 1970, the Indy 500 was run on May 30, regardless of the day, unless it fell on a Sunday, whereas it was then scheduled for the following Monday. The Indy Lights Freedom 100 race, Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and final Indianapolis 500 practice will take place on Friday, August 21 as part of Carb Day. The qualifications and race will air on NBC after the network took over the broadcast rights from ABC.

Penske had been eagerly anticipating the May 15 start to the IndyCar season, but was forced to suspend the series 48 hours before the scheduled opener when the coronavirus was declared a pandemic. St. Pete now could be listed on the backside of the schedule with no date listed.

The season-opener was initially set up for March 15 inSt Petersburg, Florida, where Indy Cars and truck had actually meant to run the race before vacant grandstands however terminated it 2 days prior to it was due to be held.

Miles said if the race can be rescheduled, it would be as the season finale in October. As for the other races like the one at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama and Circuit of the Americas in Texas, those will still stick to the original date for now.

As for the 500, the new schedule will begin with practices Aug. 12-13, followed by "Fast Friday" on Aug. 14 and weekend qualifying, Aug. 15-16.

"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. "We are going to do our best in the coming months to give the customers an even better experience".

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