GMR Grand Prix Makes Historic Move to Fourth of July Weekend
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 26, 2020 - The Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge has been rescheduled for Sunday, Aug. 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials from INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) announced today. 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 Saturday, July 4 on the IMS road course as part of a historic double-header featuring the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and NASCAR. This first-of-its-kind racing event also will be televised by NBC on Independence Day.
The Indianapolis 500 was originally scheduled for Sunday, May 24, in its traditional spot on the calendar during Memorial Day weekend. The GMR Grand Prix was scheduled to be run on Saturday, 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 on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 12-13, followed by Fast Friday on Aug. 14 and Indianapolis 500 Qualifications 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.
GMR Grand Prix Makes Historic Move
The GMR Grand Prix will take the green flag Saturday, 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 will mark the first time that the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will 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 on July 4, 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 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 FAQ's and submit questions, fans can visit www.ims.com/COVID19.
Important Indy 500 Race Weekend Concert Update
All concerts scheduled for the original Race Weekend in May have been canceled. This includes REO Speedwagon and Styx on Friday, May 22, Luke Bryan on Saturday, May 23 and Martin Garrix on Sunday, May 24.
This decision was made to provide the maximum flexibility possible to complete the Indianapolis 500 by Sunday, Aug. 23 and provide room for any contingency plans necessary. IMS appreciates the understanding of fans and regrets that the COVID-19 situation has caused the cancellation of these events.
Fans who made concert-specific purchases will be 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.
Enhanced Health and Safety Measures at IMS
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. Enhanced measures that will be in place once activity resumes at IMS include:
· Increasing housekeeping staff at the track to elevate frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces
· Using cleaning products that meet current EPA and CDC guidelines for registered disinfectants to be used against COVID-19
· Educating all employees on CDC prevention guidance, including proper handwashing technique and requesting that all vendors communicate strict hygiene protocol to staff
· Increasing public hand-sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas, containing sanitizer that meets or exceeds the CDC standard for alcohol content
· Reducing required hand-to-hand interactions between customers and staff at concession areas and other key IMS locations
Statement from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Moves to One Week Earlier in August
INDYCAR announced earlier today that The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course originally set for Aug. 14-16, 2020, has been moved to one week earlier on the calendar to Aug. 7-9, 2020.
This shift is in support of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES' efforts to run as many of its points championship races as possible in 2020. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course moving up its date also opens up the summer calendar further for the Indianapolis 500 to run on August 23, 2020.
This rescheduled date is subject to the ongoing guidance and mandates of national, state and local authorities regarding public gatherings. The health and safety of all associated with this event will remain the priority of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Previously purchased tickets to The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be valid and honored on the rescheduled dates of Aug. 7-9, 2020. Email email@example.com for any questions on ticket purchases and additional information.
Statement from World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway
March 26, 2020, St. Louis Region - Earlier today, the NTT IndyCar Series announced schedule changes which involved both the Indianapolis 500 and World Wide Technology Raceway. As a result, the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 now will take place on Sunday, August 30, 2020.
"The current situation requires that everyone be fluid, solve problems and work together," said WWTR Owner and CEO Curtis Francois. "The entire INDYCAR organization worked closely with us to come to a solution that enables us to host the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 just one week later than originally scheduled. We are grateful for their continued support and will be coming up with creative ideas for the promotion of the event.
"We now are in conversations with the other sanctioning bodies involved with the race weekend to develop a new event schedule of activities. We will be providing updates as soon possible so that our fans can enjoy a great weekend of racing in St. Louis on August 28-30, 2020."
Fans are encouraged to visit WWTR's website, www.wwtraceway.com, and its social media channels (@wwtraceway) for additional information.
Statement from Portland International Raceway
The Grand Prix of Portland Moves to One Week Later in September
INDYCAR announced earlier today that the Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway (PIR) originally set for Sept. 4-6, 2020, has been moved to one week later on the calendar to Sept. 11-13, 2020.
This shift is in support of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES' efforts to run as many of its points championship races as possible in 2020. The date at PIR moving back also opens up the summer calendar further for the Indianapolis 500 to run on August 23, 2020.
This rescheduled date is subject to the ongoing guidance and mandates of national, state and local authorities regarding public gatherings. The health and safety of all associated with this event will remain the priority of the Grand Prix of Portland and PIR.
Previously purchased tickets to the Grand Prix of Portland will be valid and honored on the rescheduled dates of Sept. 11-13, 2020. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions on ticket purchases and additional information.
Statement from the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Will Be Rescheduled in 2020
INDYCAR announced earlier today that the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is expected to be rescheduled for later in 2020. The event was originally set for March 13-15, 2020.
This shift to a later date is in support of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES' efforts to run as many of its points championship races as possible in 2020 and would be expected to serve as the season finale round.
The rescheduled date is subject to the ongoing guidance and mandates of national, state and local authorities regarding public gatherings. The health and safety of all associated with this event will remain the priority of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Previously purchased tickets to the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg would be valid and honored on the rescheduled date yet to be determined. Email email@example.com for any questions on ticket purchases and additional information.