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2020 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race moved to August 23.

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  • 2020 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race moved to August 23.

    This just in from The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, via Indianapolis Business Journal breaking News:

    Indy 500 moved to Aug. 23; Grand Prix becomes doubleheader with NASCAR race

    March 26, 2020 | IBJ Staff and Associated Press

    The Indianapolis 500 will move to Aug. 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar announced Thursday, marking the first time the historic race has ever run in a month other than May.

    The 104th running of the race will still air live on NBC, with a time for the race announced letter.

    The GMR Grand Prix—typically run as part of May’s Indy 500 festivities—will move to July 4 on the IMS road course. It will run the day before the Brickyard 400, a NASCAR race that is running on the weekend of Independence Day for the first time this year.

    “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,” IMS owner Roger Penskesaid in a statement.

    “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. “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.”

    The Indianapolis 500 was originally scheduled for May 24, in its traditional spot on the calendar during Memorial Day weekend. The Grand Prix was scheduled to be run on May 9.

    The Indy 500’s original date was outside the time periods during which state and federal authorities have said public gatherings are prohibited. But at least some of those restrictions are expected to be extended.

    Canceling the race would have been a huge financial hit for the speedway, as well as IndyCar teams and the already suffering hospitality industry in Indianapolis.

    Including ticket, hospitality, concession, merchandise and television revenue, the Indianapolis 500 brings in north of $50 million for the Speedway and has long been considered the one life vest keeping the otherwise struggling IndyCar Series afloat. More than half of all sponsorship dollars flowing to teams is paid for exposure during the month of May at Indianapolis.

    The Indianapolis 500 began in 1911 but did not run in 1917, 1918, and from 1941-45 because of World Wars I and II. Tony Hulman bought the neglected speedway after the second war and the Indy 500 returned on Memorial Day weekend in 1946 and has been scheduled for that weekend every year since.

    Although weather disrupted other runnings of the prestigious race, it had never been outright rescheduled until now.

    It was an inevitable decision but still had to be difficult for 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.

    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. Four races were initially scrapped and IndyCar said it would resume racing May 9 on the road course at Indianapolis. Long Beach and St. Pete both said they could not reschedule, but St. Pete could still find its way back to the calendar.

    The Indy 500’s on-track action in August will begin at IMS with practice sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 12-13, followed by Fast Friday practice Aug. 14. Race qualifying will be Aug. 14-15—both days broadcast by NBC.

    IMS officials said the full broadcast schedule will be released soon.

    On race week, the pit-stop practice sessions as well as Indy Lights practice and qualifying will be Aug. 20. The Indy Lights Freedom 100 race, an expanded Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and final Indianapolis 500 practice will take place Aug. 21 as part of Miller Lite Carb Day.

    The public drivers’ meeting and full-field autograph session on Aug. 22 as part of Legends Day.

    The rescheduled Indy 500 means changes for the overall IndyCar schedule. 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.
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  • #2
    Letter from IMS President Doug Boles:
    Dear Race Fan,

    I’m reaching out this afternoon to inform you the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race has been rescheduled to Sunday, Aug. 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe given the current situation, postponing the event is the responsible decision.

    We’re confident we can deliver a world-class experience in August and are already working to do so. Making this announcement now gives everyone ample time to adjust and prepare for the new date. The new schedule will include many of the on-track activities that make the lead-up to the “500” so special. Fast Friday, Qualifying, Carb Day’s Pit Stop Competition and the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race will all take place, beginning with the first day of NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

    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. In August, I believe 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 frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

    The tickets you purchased for the originally scheduled race date are automatically valid for the newly scheduled race date. Please retain them for use in August. The updated IMS schedule, including a new date for the GMR Grand Prix, can be viewed by visiting IMS.com/COVID19. This link also contains our news release, Frequently Asked Questions and information on the best way to contact us with any questions.

    In the meantime, we’re continuing to double-down on the facility investments that are designed to enhance your customer experience when you attend this year’s race. I’m confident you will see a positive difference when we open our doors.

    Our entire team appreciates your patience and understanding during this challenging time. We are grateful to have the most loyal fans in sports. While we all circle these new dates on our calendars, we also wish good health and safety to you and your family.

    Sincerely,



    J. Douglas Boles, IMS President
    Indianapolis Motor Speedway
    4790 W. 16th St. Indianapolis, 46222
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Given all the moving parts to an event of this magnitude, it’s probably a good idea to postpone it and announce it sooner rather than later.
      Proud NON-CASO

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      If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

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