The COVID-19 pandemic cared not for the Month of May in auto racing. The same public health issues that shut down live sports globally in March caused a massive shake-up in IndyCar’s plans for 2020, including the 104th annual Indy 500‘s place on the schedule.
The Indianapolis 500 is one of the few races in America that attracts casual viewers on a global scale, so IndyCar and IMS have done everything they can to keep the 2020 race on the schedule. So far so good, because the 2020 Indy 500 has not been canceled — just rescheduled.
MORE: Complete starting lineup for the Indy 500
The 2020 IndyCar season was suspended in March before it even had a chance to start, so a June 6 race at Texas Motor Speedway became the first race of the season on a modified schedule. As currently scheduled, the Indy 500 will be the eighth race of the season.
Below is what you need to know about the status of the 2020 Indy 500, including the TV channel and start time for Sunday’s race.
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When is the Indy 500 in 2020?
- Date: Sunday, Aug. 23
- Pre-race show: 1 p.m. ET
- Race start time: 2:30 p.m. ET
What channel is the Indy 500 on?
- TV channel: NBC
- Live stream: NBC Sports Gold | Watch LIVE Here (7-day free trial)
On-track action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ahead of Sunday’s Indy 500 began with practice sessions Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 12-13, followed by Fast Friday on Aug. 14 and Indianapolis 500 Qualifications on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15-16.
Each day of qualifications was televised on NBC. Marco Andretti will start the race on the pole.
In other words, the typical schedule for the Indy 500 remained intact — just a few months later.
“It could be scorching hot.” Dave Calabro, the voice of IMS, told Sporting News when the 500 was postponed to August. “I think the uncertainty of it all is a factor, but the speedway will go out of their way to make it as normal as possible. Roger Penske is all about that. And he’ll leave no stone unturned to make it as special as May as possible.”
The updated IndyCar schedule for 2020 can be found here.
As originally scheduled, the 2020 Indy 500 will broadcast live on cable network NBC despite its new date. NBC also showed both days of qualifying, while all Indy 500 practice sessions were available on streaming service NBC Sports Gold.
Of the 14 races on IndyCar’s modified schedule for 2020, eight were slated to be shown on NBC, with the others scheduled to broadcast on NBCSN.
Below are the top 40 TV markets in the Unites States and the local NBC affiliate for each.
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