Indianapolis Motor Speedway have been promoting the slogan,” Different Month, Same Feeling.” I think they can stop now. I never thought the feeling would be the same. Following yesterday’s announcement, There is definitely not the same feeling. I’m not sure if there is any feeling left.
I still believe it is the correct call to not allow fans for everyone’s safety. I don’t blame IU Health, the governor, or the mayor. My understanding is that it was Roger Penske’s call. Penske didn’t become a successful businessman by making bad decisions. This is defintiely a call for the long term of the speedway and the sport, although the short term is going to hurt.
There are some things that Indycar, IMS, and NBC could do to alleviate the angst of the fans. NBC could have a two week special price on NBC Gold for practices and qualifying. NBC could show the race not necessarily commercial free, but with ad overlays so that the action is on screen for the entire 200 laps. The Speedway could offer 2020 ticket holders a small gift shop coupon good through next May 30.
But life and racing go on. As of today, according to their websites, World Wide Technology Raceway (Gateway) and IMS are still selling tickets to their next events for now. As we found out the last few days, things can change quickly.
The doubleheader at Gateway will have two 200 lap races instead of the traditional 248 lap race. Qualifying will follow the same format as at Iowa, where the second lap determines the starting spot for race 2.
IMS Schedule for the Indianapolis 500
I will post each day’s schedule beginning next Wednesday. I’m wondering if the qualifying format will change if there are only 32 or 33 entries