INDYCAR Joins The Summer Olympics & Kentucky Derby In Date Changes; Announces Joint Race With NASCAR On The Fourth Of July
Gentlemen, start flipping your calendars.
The Indianapolis 500, which has been held during the “Month of May” since its inception before World War I, is moving to August.
Officials from INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) announced the 2020 race will take place on Sunday, Aug. 23, a move from its original – and traditional – date on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend.
It joins several other major sporting events that have moved, rather than canceled, dates due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Summer Olympic announced the 2020 Games will be pushed back a year and the Kentucky Derby has moved from it’s standard first-Saturday-in-May date to the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. The Masters has moved to November.
Calling the Month of May “my favorite time of the year,” Roger Penske explained the INDYCAR and IMS decision.
“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.” Penske 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.”
Fourth Of July Indianapolis Grand Prix NASCAR & IndyCar Doubleheader
In what could turn out to be a major victory for the speedway and racing fans, the Indianapolis Grand Prix will now be a NASCAR/IndyCar double-header weekend. On the Fourth of July. This will be the first time in motorsports history that NASCAR and IndyCar are running on the same weekend at the same track.
“This historic pairing will be circled on the calendar of every motorsports fans,” 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.”
Indy 500 Revised On-Track Schedule
On-track action in August will begin on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 12-13, with practice sessions. Fast Friday is Aug. 24 with qualifying to be held on Saturday and Sunday 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.
The following week’s schedule will begin with hot pit-stop practice sessions on Thursday, Aug. 20 and include Indy Lights practice and qualifying. The Indy Lights Freedom 100 race, a significantly expanded Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and final Indianapolis 500 practice will take place on Friday, Aug. 21 as part of Miller Lite Carb Day, followed by the public drivers’ meeting and full-field autograph session on Saturday, Aug. 22 as part of Legends Day presented by Firestone.
As a result of the schedule changes at IMS, the INDYCAR races scheduled for Aug. 16 and Aug. 22 have been 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 at Gateway is now scheduled for Aug. 30.
Indy 500 Concerts Canceled – The Snakepit Infield Party
For many the infield party – known as the Snakepit – is what makes the Indy 500 an annual must-do event. It will still happen but the scheduled concerts have been canceled.