Indianapolis 500 Postponed Until August 23 Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
NTT IndyCar Series delays its biggest race, and releases revised 2020 season schedule.
The NTT IndyCar Series on March 26 announced that its biggest race, the Indianapolis 500, is postponed until August 23. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause organizers of major events—sporting and otherwise—to search for alternative dates in the hope they can salvage their seasons if spread of the virus is brought under control in time to make something of 2020.
The 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 was scheduled originally for May 24, its traditional slot on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend.
As part of the announcement, IndyCar said the GMR Grand Prix, scheduled to be held on May 9—also at Indianapolis Motor Speedway but on the facility's road course rather than the famed Superspeedway used for the Indianapolis 500—will move to Saturday, July 4. That means it would be part of an unprecedented, cross-series double-header event alongside the NASCAR Cup Series, on the same track on the same day. NBC plans to televise all three races.
IndyCar's latest move is no surprise, as every major American sports league, as well as others around the world, has been forced to scramble in the face of the COVID-19 situation. In addition to IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500, various other racing series and events, including Formula 1, NASCAR, IMSA, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the NHRA have previously announced race postponements and/or cancelations. Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee confirmed the 2020 Olympic Games planned for Tokyo will now take place in 2021.
IndyCar said tickets already purchased for the Indianapolis 500, GMR Grand Prix, and associated on-track days such as Miller Lite Carb Day and Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying Weekend, will be 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 FAQs, and submit questions, fans should visit the official Indianapolis Motor Speedway COVID-19 page.
"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," said new IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger Penske. "However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe 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."
As a result of the schedule changes at Indianapolis, IndyCar races scheduled for Aug. 16 and Aug. 22 are also 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 in Madison, Illinois, just east of St. Louis, is now scheduled for Aug. 30.
Updated 2020 NTT IndyCar Series Schedule:
Saturday, May 30: Streets of Detroit Race 1
Sunday, May 31: Streets of Detroit Race 2
Saturday, June 6: Texas Motor Speedway
Sunday, June 21: Road America
Saturday, June 27: Richmond Raceway
Saturday, July 4: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Sunday, July 12: Streets of Toronto
Saturday, July 18: Iowa Speedway
Sunday, Aug. 9: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Sunday, Aug. 23: Indianapolis 500
Sunday, Aug. 30: World Wide Technology Raceway
Sunday, Sept. 13: Portland International Raceway
Sunday, Sept. 20: WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca
TBD Expected Finale: Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida