IMS 4th of July Events to Run Without Spectators
The Fourth of July race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be held without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic. IMS officials say the decision was made after extensive consultation with local and state officials.
IMS says the holiday weekend event will be renamed the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records, in recognition of the company’s efforts to support the availability of hand sanitizer to the public.
“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,” said Penske Entertainment Corp. Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles. “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.
Stage 5 of Indiana’s reopening plan, which allows sporting venues to host public events, is scheduled to begin July 4 in most counties. However, Marion County is behind most other counties and only recently entered Stage 3 of the state’s restart plan.
“We are extremely appreciative of the time and expertise Governor Holcomb, Mayor 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,” stated Miles.
IMS says the event will be the first time the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series have shared the same track with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES on the same event weekend.
The GMR Grand Prix for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Pennzoil 150 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series are scheduled for July 4. The Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 for the NASCAR Cup Series is scheduled for July 5.
IMS says other public events surrounding the weekend have been canceled given the decision to run all races without fans.
IMS says fans can watch the double-header weekend live on NBC. NBC’s television schedule for the weekend is expected to be released soon.