INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis 500 was rescheduled for Aug. 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials from INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Thursday. 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 GMR Grand Prix will transition to July 4 on the IMS road course as part of a historic double-header featuring the INDYCAR series and NASCAR. This first-of-its-kind racing event will be televised by NBC on Independence Day.
The Indianapolis 500 was originally scheduled for May 24, in its traditional spot on the calendar during Memorial Day weekend. The GMR Grand Prix was for 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 Aug. 12-13, followed by Fast Friday on Aug. 14 and Indianapolis 500 qualification 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.
As a result of the schedule changes at IMS, the INDYCAR races scheduled for Aug. 16 and Aug. 22 were rescheduled. An updated INDYCAR series calendar is available online.
The GMR Grand Prix will take the green flag July 4 before the first NASCAR Xfinity Series race on the IMS road course — the Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard. The unique holiday racing lineup marks the first time the INDYCAR series compete at the same track on the same weekend as both the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Immediately following the live telecast of the GMR Grand Prix, NBC will air the first NASCAR race on the IMS road course with the Xfinity Series cars in action at the Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard.
“For very good reason, this historic pairing will be circled on the calendar of every motorsports fan,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. “We appreciate our friends at NASCAR for their flexibility and support in this matter and will work with them on a memorable, exciting weekend of racing action.”
Tickets already purchased for the Indianapolis 500, GMR Grand Prix and associated on-track days aree valid on the rescheduled dates. Individuals already in possession of those tickets should use them for entry. To learn more about the adjusted on-track schedule, review customer FAQ’s and submit questions, fans can visit www.ims.com/COVID19.
All concerts scheduled for the original race weekend in May were canceled. Fans who made concert-specific purchases are able to access 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.
IMS and INDYCAR officials will continue to work closely with local, state and federal health representatives to ensure a safe and healthy experience for spectators.