Indy 500 track drying underway, Indianapolis blackout lifted

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles remains optimistic that the Indianapolis 500 will run in full on Sunday afternoon despite the start time being pushed back by bad weather.

Storms passed over the Speedway shortly before the originally-scheduled green flag time of 12:45 p.m., forcing the track to evacuate the grandstands and clear pitlane due to the risk of lightning.

That rain has now passed, and the track drying process has begun.

“With this passing storm we are hopeful that we can start the Indianapolis 500 shortly this afternoon, and hopeful that we can get the entire race in,” Boles said. “Our plan all along was to try to get the Indianapolis 500 in today, and I believe that we are on track to do that.


“We’ll get started with our trucks shortly, we’ll get the jet driers firing shortly after that, and we’ll also get the Air Titans out on track. We dried the track pretty quickly last week; right now after talking to our team we’re going to try to get it done in about two hours. Hopefully it’s quicker than that, but that’s what we’re looking at right now.

“If you were here when the storm started, there was a significant amount of rain in a short time and that means we’re going to have some puddling around the track that they’ll have to deal with. It will begin to look dry, and then we’ll find areas where we need to spend a little more time to get it dry.”

Boles said that the event also intends to start running some of the pre-recorded pre-race elements soon, with the aim of completing the military elements tied to Memorial Day Weekend as well as traditional elements such as Back Home Again in Indiana, the national anthem and the command to start engines closer to the start.

Meanwhile, fans who are unable to stay for the full race because of evening commitments will be able to watch the race live at home after IMS, NBC and local channel WTHR agreed to lift the regional broadcast blackout.

“A lot of people come here and expect to be able to leave the IMS sometime around 3:30pm or 4:00pm when the Indianapolis 500 is completed, and go home to babysitters or get ready for what they’re doing on Monday,” Boles said.

“We talked to NBC and WTHR, and sometime prior to the last elements of the pre-race ceremony WTHR will broadcast the Indianapolis 500 live for those fans who could not stay.”

It is understood that the blackout will also be lifted on Peacock.

Story originally appeared on Racer