Indy 500 executives outline plans for historic race

Sports

INDIANAPOLIS (NewsNation) — The Indianapolis 500 is moving forward with plans to hold the historic race with no fans allowed in the stands and being held more than three months later than usual.

The Indy 500 is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Aug. 23 with the green flag scheduled for 2:30 p.m., officials outlined in a virtual news conference Wednesday.

Many of the traditional pre-race elements will remain the same this year despite having no fans in the stands, said Doug Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President.

The race’s Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said officials are monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and planning for multiple scenarios.

“We could have the best 88-page plan available but if the public health situation in general was not at a place where it made sense to go forward with fans then we wouldn’t,” said Miles. “We had to make a decision and I think it was the right one. Sitting here today, some of the metrics are better but still not where they need to be.”

Plans include:

  • The Singing Surgeons singing the National Anthem
  • Jim Cornelison returning to sing “Back Home Again in Indiana”
  • The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform a flyover.

Boles said he understands fans may show up outside the track on race day, but encourages them to stay home and watch the race on TV.

NewsNation affiliate WXIN contributed to this report.

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