SPEEDWAY, Ind. — The Indianapolis 500, as of now, is still scheduled for May 24, according to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
However, many Hoosiers and sports fans are wondering if, or when, that could change.
Mark Jaynes, the voice of the 500 and the anchor of the IndyCar Radio Network, believes IMS will do everything possible to keep the race on Memorial Day Weekend.
“But if the day comes, and it becomes obvious based upon the advice they’ve been given from the experts, and they say ‘We don’t think it’s a good idea to do this,’ I would like to think they would follow that suggestion,” Jaynes said. “I have all the confidence they would.”
Jaynes and the rest of his broadcasting team have been out of a job this month, and will continue to be next month. The first four races of the 2020 NTT IndyCar season have either been postponed or canceled.
“To see the way all of that was impacted was certainly disappointing,” he said. “But we certainly understand why those decisions were made and I personally see them as the right decisions, for sure.”
The IndyCar drivers have also felt frustration, as their season is on-hold. But Jaynes says they’ve been doing a great job during these unique times.
“They’re staying busy with iRacing, they’re doing virtual autographs, they’re staying active on social media,” he said. “I commend all of them for doing their best to stay close to the fans and interact with the fans as much as possible.”
With IMS saying the “Month of May” is still on as planned, that means the first race of the season will be the GMR Grand Prix at the IMS road course on May 9, with the Indy 500 set for May 24. But if The Greatest Spectacle in Racing ends up being moved back, when could it happen? Jaynes says NBC, the network that carries the 500, could have an impact.
“With the recent announcement that the Olympics would be postponed until 2021, that leaves a sizable hole in the schedule for NBC,” Jaynes said.
So July or August might be an option, but Jaynes says it’s more complex than just finding a date.
“There’s a lot of contracts, there’s a lot to the business side of this, and it’s not as simple as just rescheduling something.”
There are some open dates on the IndyCar schedule in those two months. Right now, the series is set to be in Toronto on July 12, Iowa on July 18, Mid-Ohio on August 16 and Gateway on August 22.
Jaynes says he believes everyone at IMS and IndyCar will do all they can to make sure the Indy 500 will be run at some point in 2020.
“If it’s not late May, every effort will be made to get it to a date that makes sense,” he said.
Listen to the entire interview with Mark Jaynes: