Sport

Indy 500 Pushed Back Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Indy 500 Pushed Back Amid Coronavirus Concerns”

In this May 26, 2019, file photo, Simon Pagenaud, of France, leads the field through the first turn on the start of the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis.

However, now GMR Grand Prix will be an even more patriotic event on Independence Day, July 4, with the Indy 500 now on August 23, the first time it has not been held in May in its 109-year history. This will be the 104th edition of the race which typically draws 300,000 fans to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"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 Roger Penske, the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar series. "We are going to proceed to deal with methods we are able to improve the client expertise within the months forward, and I'm assured we are going to welcome followers with a remodeled facility and a world spectacle after we run the world's biggest race".

Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said the series chose the August date to get away from extended delays caused by the coronavirus shutdown. Multiple drivers have run the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day, including Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and, most recently, Kurt Busch in 2014. "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-10".

Penske had been eagerly anticipating the 15 May 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.

More news: BTS Delays North American Tour Dates Amid Ongoing Health Crisis

Penske and his team chose to push the race until later in the season so that they shouldn't be forced to reschedule again.

Roger Penske voiced how postponing the race was the responsible choice to make, in light of COVID-19's widespread impact.

As for the 500, the brand new schedule will start with practices August 12-13, adopted by "Quick Friday" on August 14 and weekend qualifying. The following week will see a myriad of events, including autograph sessions, Legends Day and the Indy Lights Freedom 100 race. Several other races have had their dates moved or canceled altogether, and the schedule now stands at 13 races, down from a planned 17. The NASCAR Cup Series race would then be run on the oval course the next day. IndyCar moved the August race dates for Mid-Ohio and Gateway exterior of St. Louis, whereas Portland was moved from Labor Day to at least one week after.

"It's a disgrace Roger has to undergo this in his first 12 months of proudly owning Indianapolis Motor Speedway however you couldn't have a greater man in cost", stated A.J. Foy, a four-time Indy 500 victor and staff proprietor.

"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". We're confident we can deliver a world-class experience in August and are already working to do so.



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