The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has confirmed that its Fourth of July weekend, featuring NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 and IndyCar’s Indy Grand Prix, will run without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stage 5 of Indiana’s reopening plan allows for sporting venues to host public events with social distancing and is scheduled to begin July 4 in most counties. However, Marion County — home to Indianapolis, the state’s largest city — recently entered Stage 3 of the road map 10 days after the majority of counties. This follows nationwide trends suggesting larger municipalities should exercise caution in navigating plans to reopen.
“While we certainly worked diligently to run our events with spectators, we reached a point where we needed to make a final decision because the race weekend is less than a month away,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles said. “Today it’s not possible to be confident that Indianapolis will be at Stage 5 of the state’s reopening plan by the Fourth of July weekend.
“We are extremely appreciative of the time and expertise Governor (Eric) Holcomb, Mayor (Joe) Hogsett and state and local public health officials have given us over the last few months. This was a collaborative process and a decision we’re all aligned with after thorough review of the situation. We remain committed to welcoming the world’s greatest fans to the Speedway for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in late August.”
Both halves of the NASCAR/IndyCar doubleheader will air live on NBC. The holiday weekend at IMS will mark the first time the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series have shared the same venue with the NTT IndyCar Series on the same event weekend.
The GMR Grand Prix for the IndyCar Series and Pennzoil 150 for the Xfinity Series are scheduled for Saturday, July 4, while the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records for the NASCAR Cup Series is scheduled for Sunday, July 5.
Fans who have purchased reserved seats or general admission tickets to these events will have the option for a credit to future IMS events, such as the 2020 Indianapolis 500 or Harvest GP, or a refund. IMS will contact these fans directly.
Other public events surrounding the weekend have been canceled given the decision to run all races without fans. This includes the Driven2SaveLives BC39 USAC Midget race and the FGL Fest concert. Fans who have purchased tickets to these events also will have the option to receive credit to a future IMS event or a refund and will be contacted directly by IMS.