The Indy 500 is currently scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 23, due to the COVID-19 pandemic following a postponement. In its place, NBC will air Indy 500 Special: Back Home Again, a made-for-TV event that replaces the 104th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Here's how to watch the highly-anticipated special.
Indy 500 Special: Back Home Again will air on NBC from 2 to 6 p.m. ET. Those without cable access can also stream NBC on Sling TV, DirecTV Now and YouTube TV, provided the channel is available in their area. These platforms are available on Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast and iOS and Android devices. Longtime sportscaster Mike Tirico will anchor the coverage.
The special includes an encore presentation of 2019's Indy 500 and provides commentary from the winner, Simon Pagenaud, as well as runner up, Alexander Rossi. In addition to the interviews, the special includes the annual military traditions of the Indy 500. There will also be special additions honoring those fighting on the front lines of the coronavirus.
"There's such a void in everyone's emotions and feelings if you don't have the Indy 500 in May," Penske Entertainment Corp. senior vice president Allison Melangton told the IndyStar. "And this year, our marketing campaign was 'That May Feeling' and that feeling is real, and something folks are emotionally connected to with the track. It's this month, it's springtime, and people come out of their homes and want to celebrate this city and state that has the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the largest single-day sporting event in the world. As a Hoosier, that's something to be proud of 103 years running, and to not do something special this weekend felt like a real void to all of us."
The special won't fill the void left by the postponed Indy 500, but Melangton still believes that it will be unique. She told the IndyStar that the goal is to have families again gather together in celebration of Memorial Day. She believes that this is a reason why a lot of people come together every single year.
"We weren't thinking so much about racing, because that traditionally speaks for itself," Melangton said during the interview. "We were looking to fill the void of what people were feeling while not having the race. For the world to come to a sports standstill, something big had to happen, something massive. And we were looking how to fill that void, and that void isn't just a racing void."
The Indy 500 fans will wake up on Sunday without anticipating a race. However, they will still be able to look forward to the upcoming special. Indy 500 Special: Back Home Again begins at 2 p.m. ET and will run until 6 p.m.