Amid COVID-19 Scare, Indianapolis 500 Moved To August

GMR Grand Prix Moved To July 4

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The Indianapolis 500 has been moved to August as the result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Al Steinberg photo)

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar officials have rescheduled the Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge for Sunday, Aug. 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 104th edition of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing will air live on NBC, with the official green flag time to be announced at a later date. The race was originally scheduled for May 24.

“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,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner 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.

The following week’s schedule will begin with hot pit-stop practice sessions on Thursday, Aug. 20 and include Indy Lights practice and qualifying. The Indy Lights Freedom 100 race, a significantly expanded Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and final Indianapolis 500 practice will take place on Friday, Aug. 21 as part of Miller Lite Carb Day, followed by the public drivers’ meeting and full-field autograph session on Saturday, Aug. 22 as part of Legends Day presented by Firestone.

The GMR Grand Prix, originally scheduled for May 9, will transition to Saturday, July 4 on the IMS road course as part of a historic doubleheader featuring the NTT IndyCar Series and NASCAR. This first-of-its-kind racing event also will be televised by NBC on Independence Day.

As a result of the schedule changes at IMS, the IndyCar Series 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.

Below is the full NTT IndyCar Series schedule as it stands right now:

May 30-31 – Belle Isle Park – Detroit, Mich.
June 6 – Texas Motor Speedway – Fort Worth, Texas
June 21 – Road America – Elkhart Lake, Wis.
June 27 – Richmond Raceway – Richmond, Va.
July 4 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course – Indianapolis, Ind.
July 12 – Exhibition Place – Toronto, Ontario
July 18 – Iowa Speedway – Newton, Iowa
Aug. 9 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – Lexington, Ohio
Aug. 23 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Indianapolis, Ind.
Aug. 30 – World Wide Technology Raceway – Madison, Ill.
Sept. 13 – Portland Int’l Raceway – Portland, Ore.
Sept. 20 – WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca – Monterey, Calif.
TBD – Streets of St. Petersburg – St. Petersburg, Fla.