Penske: Indy 500 will only go ahead with spectators

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NTT IndyCar Series owner Roger Penske says the Indy 500 will only be staged this year if spectators are allowed to attend the iconic race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In March, the Indy 500 was moved to August 23 because of the global Covid-19 pandemic, making it first time the event will not be held on Memorial Day weekend since 1946.

Penske, who is also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is determined for the Indy 500 to be held with fans present, which could mean pushing the race back further to October. The race typically brings around 275,000 fans.

“Trust me, we are going to run it (Indy 500) with fans,” Penske told Racer magazine prior to the IndyCar season opener in Texas at the weekend. “We’re on for fans in August and planning on it and we feel good. It’s still almost three months from now and I think we’ll be OK. But we will run it only with fans.”

An IndyCar-Nascar doubleheader will take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 4 weekend but without spectators.

“We really wanted to go forward with fans, but it wasn’t realistic,” Penske told the Associated Press. “If we had fans and had any problems, that would absolutely close the door on for us for the 500.”