June 4, 2020 / 3:41 PM / a month ago

Brickyard 400 to run without fans

FILE PHOTO: Sep 8, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; NASCAR driver Kurt Busch (1) leads a pack of cars down the main straightaway into turn one during the Big Machine Vodka 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The July 4 weekend races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be held without spectators.

It marks the second holiday weekend at Indy affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Indianapolis 500, traditionally run on Memorial Day weekend, was moved to Aug. 23, when fans are expected to be in attendance.

The Brickyard 400 is the marquee event of the weekend.

“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 Mark Miles, the president and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp., in a news release issued Thursday. “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 begins July 4 in most counties and will allow for sporting events, with spectators, following social distancing. But Marion County, where Indianapolis is located, is running 10 days behind most counties in the state in the reopening plan, meaning there is no guarantee the track could have fans on July 4 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,” Miles said.

Other scheduled events are the GMR Grand Prix for the NTT INDYCAR Series and the Pennzoil 150 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, to be held on July 4. The Brickyard 400 will be the following day.

Kevin Harvick won the 2019 Brickyard 400.

—Field Level Media

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