STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Indianapolis 500 postponed until August because of COVID-19

The Indianapolis 500 was postponed Thursday until August because of the coronavirus pandemic and won’t run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1946.

Posted: Mar 26, 2020 8:02 PM

The Indianapolis 500 was postponed Thursday until August because of the coronavirus pandemic and won’t run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1946.

The race will instead be held Aug. 23, three months later than its May 24 scheduled date.

“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 motorsports giant Roger Penske, who finalized his purchase of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year.

“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 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.

It has been scheduled for that weekend every year since, a familiar fixture for untold millions of fans over the years. Although weather has occasionally disrupted the prestigious race, it had never been outright rescheduled until now.

“In times like this it is all about leadership and communication. We have both in IndyCar and NASCAR,” said Chip Ganassi, who fields cars in both series. NASCAR has not altered its plan to resume racing May 9.

Postponing the Indy 500 was an inevitable decision but still had to be difficult for Penske, who has already pumped millions into capital improvements to ready the historic speedway for its first 500 under new ownership.

“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.”

Miles also thanked NBC, which took over broadcasting the marquee race just last year from ABC. NBC is already scrambling after this week’s postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021; the games had been scheduled to open July 24 and run for nearly three weeks.

Penske had been eagerly anticipating the March 15 start to the IndyCar season, but was forced to suspend the series 48 hours before the scheduled opener in St. Petersburg, Florida, 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 Indy. The opening race is now listed as May 30 at Detroit, but the schedule is in flux.

The Indy road course race will now be run on July 4, a day before NASCAR races at The Brickyard in an unprecedented doubleheader between the series. St. Pete now is listed at the bottom of the IndyCar schedule with no date listed. It is not clear if that means it would be the season finale, or if it could be wedged elsewhere into a schedule that is constantly changing.

Races at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, Circuit of the Americas in Texas and Long Beach will not be rescheduled. IndyCar moved the August race dates for Mid-Ohio one week earlier and Gateway outside of St. Louis one week later, while Portland was moved from Labor Day to one week after.

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. The following week is dark until Aug. 20, with the final Indianapolis 500 practice on Friday, Aug. 21 as part of Carb Day.

“I’ll tell you this, no matter what day or month or time they run the Indy 500 it’s the greatest race on the whole planet earth, we’ll just have it in August this time and it will still be super, super good,” said Bobby Unser, winner of the Indy 500 in 1968, 1975 and 1981.

West Lafayette
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 52°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 57°
Rensselaer
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Fowler
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 53°
Williamsport
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Crawfordsville
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Delphi
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 56°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 56°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 54°
Warming up with plenty of sunshine!
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events