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Indianapolis to run July NASCAR, IndyCar races without fans

Chase Elliott says that racing NASCAR's compressed schedule reminds him of his short-track days and that the industry is learning how it can operate with more simplicity to maximize the well-being of competitors.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Thursday that its NASCAR/IndyCar weekend July 4-5 will be run without fans.

In a letter to fans, Doug Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, wrote:

“After extensive consultation with local and state health officials, we have made the difficult decision to run these events without fans in the stands due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. ...

“While the State of Indiana plans to enter Stage 5 of its “Back on Track Indiana” plan on July 4, opening sporting events to fans with social distancing, Marion County – home to IMS – moved to Stage 3 ten days after the rest of the state, and we cannot be confident that it will be ready to move to Stage 5 by the holiday weekend. This approach follows national trends for larger communities, and we must follow those guidelines and the leadership and judgement of our city and state officials during this challenging time.

“Customers with tickets to the impacted events will receive an email from the IMS ticket office with instructions for claiming tickets to our 2021 events, an account credit good for all future events at IMS, or a refund.”

NBC will broadcast the IndyCar and Xfinity races July 4 on the track’s road course and air the Cup race July 5 on the oval.

Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles said in a statement: “We remain committed to welcoming the world’s greatest fans to the Speedway for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in late August.”

The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Aug. 23 on NBC.

No NASCAR race has been run with fans since the sport resumed its season May 17 at Darlington Raceway. When NASCAR announced its revised schedule for May 30-June 21, it stated that none of those events would be held with fans.