IMS President Doug Boles speaks during a press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 25, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

EXCLUSIVE: Doug Boles Explains Decision to Postpone Indianapolis 500 to Sunday, August 23

The Indianapolis 500 has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles told the Hammer and Nigel Show Thursday.

“When [Governor Eric Holcomb] issued his stay-at-home order and things continued to evolve with the pandemic, we began to re-evaluate what May needs to look like for us,” said Boles.

“May for us really begins next week in terms of the preparation for the Indianapolis 500 and ensuring that things are ready to go on race day,” Boles added. “So with so much unknown at this point, we made the decision to be supportive of the Governor and supportive of the community.”

Boles said the selection of August 23rd as a target date to run the Indy 500 was a combination of logistics and ensuring that the event is structured to include as many traditional month of May activities as possible.

“We wanted to be sure we could include as much of the on-track action as fans have come to expect,” explained Boles. “Yes, it might have been easier if we were to pick another day in an effort to get everything done in a long weekend, but we felt like that wasn’t in keeping with the tradition of the Indianapolis 500.”

He continued: “We wanted a place where we could schedule everything into two consecutive weekends. At one point we even considered Labor Day weekend, but we felt like that would conflict with existing plans that people have with their families for that weekend. And of course, we also had to be cognizant of the fact that there are other IndyCar series events that are scheduled on dates that we might have considered.

The Indianapolis 500 is not the only event to get bumped to accommodate for the Coronavirus pandemic shutdown.  The GMR Grand Prix will transition to Saturday, July 4 for a first-ever doubleheader featuring the NTT IndyCar Series and NASCAR.

Existing Indy 500 ticket sales for May remain valid for the race on August 23.

For more information, visit IMS.com/COVID19.

Click the link below to hear Hammer and Nigel’s full interview with Doug Boles, President of the Indianapolis Motors Speedway.

Photo: Chris Paythen/Getty Images
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