The Greatest Spectacle In Cancellations

Cars line up for qualifying

Kate Shoup

Track officials announced Thursday that the Indianapolis 500 has been postponed until August because of the coronavirus pandemic and won’t run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1946.

“Even the most social distant sporting event can’t beat the coronavirus.” Kathryn Krawczyk/The Week

“Under the updated Indy 500 schedule, the track will open with practice sessions Aug. 12-13, followed by Fast Friday on Aug. 14. Indy 500 qualifying is Aug. 15-16 with each full day of qualifications televised on NBC.” Nate Ryan/NBC Sports

It’s not ideal, but given the circumstances and the results, the Indianapolis 500 and its stakeholders couldn’t have asked for—or played—a better hand. “… not only was [Roger] Penske & Company hoping to replace three weeks of action in this scrambled scenario, Indy was up against the National Hockey League, the PGA tour and NASCAR, as they all were vying for a primo spot in the openings left by the cancelation of the Summer Olympics (mid-July to mid-August).” Robin Miller/

We’ve got bigger things to worry about than a race: “… what we’re dealing with here with the COVID-19 global pandemic, is the biggest threat to mankind in our lifetime. That’s a mouthful, but that’s a fact, which is why I’m not much in the mood to get sentimental right now about the fate of the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500.” Gregg Doyel/Indianapolis Star

Everything’s going to be just fine. Eventually. “The Speedway and the race have survived their share of difficult moments, and they will survive this, too.” Bob Kravitz/The Athletic

History lesson: “Through nearly 75 years of Hulman family ownership, Speedway never experienced an interruption of engines starting in May.” Tony Rehagen/Indianapolis Monthly

Indy 500 may end up serving as a celebration of sorts for the area and its businesses. “The postponement, which followed weeks of questions about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the race, could be a lift for local businesses and a central Indiana hospitality industry that have been hit hard by the closures and cancellations caused by the pandemic.” Mickey Shuey/Indianapolis Business Journal