The Indianapolis 500 will have some competition when the event takes place next month. On August 23, the Indy 500 will air on NBC, but will be head-to-head with two NASCAR races. NASCAR released its schedule for August, and two races will be held on the 23rd — an Xfinity Series race starting at 1 p.m. ET and a Cup Series race starting at 4 p.m. The Indy 500 will start at 2:30 p.m. with coverage starting at 1 p.m. The NASCAR races will be shown on NBCSN while the Indy 500 will air on NBC.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger Penske told the IndyStar the Indy 500 is starting later this year because of the "hoops IndyCar and NBC executives had to jump through in order to find the best rescheduled option for this year’s 500 after it was postponed in late March." Racing fans will now have to choose to watch NASCAR or the Indy500. Most likely, fans will be flipping back-and-forth to make sure they don't miss any action with all three races.
Both NASCAR and IndyCar were forced to make big changes to their schedules due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indy 500 was set to run on May 24 but was pushed back until Aug. 23. The good news for fans is they are allowed to attend the race as Indianapolis Motor Speedway is allowing 50 percent capacity.
"We're committed to running the Indy 500 on Sunday, Aug. 23, and will welcome fans to the world’s greatest racing venue," IMS President Doug Boles said in a statement. "We will be limiting attendance to approximately 50 percent of venue capacity, and we are also finalizing a number of additional carefully considered health and safety measures. We'll unveil the specific details of our comprehensive plan in the coming weeks."
"This August, we'll also have a unique and powerful opportunity to honor the contributions and heroism of the doctors, nurses, first responders and National Guard members serving on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19," Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said. "We're grateful for the patience of our fans as we've navigated this situation, and we extend our thanks to NBC for its terrific partnership and diligent work to maximize broadcast coverage with this new schedule."