INDIANAPOLIS — The Fourth of July race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will run without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
IMS officials said Thursday they made the decision after "extensive consultation with local and state officials."
Stage 5 of Indiana's reopening plan, which allowed for sporting venues to host public events with social distancing, begins on July 4. However, Marion County has been on a slower reopening plan than the rest of the state and has only recently entered stage 3 and will not reach the fifth stage in time for the Fourth of July.
"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 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."
The events for the holiday weekend will also be renamed the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records, in recognition of the company's ngoing efforst to support the supply of hand sanitizer available to the public, according to IMS officials.