Indy 500 has been delayed. What to know about the race and IMS procedures

INDIANAPOLIS -- The 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 has been delayed due to incoming weather.

With the front end of a thunderstorm set to hit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway sometime between 12 and 12:30 p.m., fans have been instructed to exit the grandstands and snake pit. Fans can come back to the grandstands and snake pit 30 minutes after the last visible lightning strike at IMS.

"The most important thing we've got to do today is make sure that the fans that are here right now and the fans that are coming continue to stay safe and that's really been our priority from the very beginning," IMS president Doug Boles said when he met with media at 10:45 a.m.

Indy 500 updates: Live results, starting grid, news

While fans have been removed from the snake pit and grandstands, they are allowed to remain in IMS. Fans are also permitted to leave IMS and re-enter. Entertainment in the snake pit has halted. It is up to fans' discretion on whether they choose to leave the facilities.

"What (fans) need to do is implement whatever plan they feel safest and some folks will absolutely want to leave because I think they'll feel safer doing that and then staying here," Boles said.

Boles expects the rain to end somewhere between 2:30 and 3 p.m., at which point drying the track will begin. IMS has rented NASCAR's air titans, which dry the track quicker than traditional jet dryers. Last week, the track was dried in a record time of 77 minutes. Humidity, moisturization, wind and the Sun all affect how long it takes for the track to dry. IMS is targeting a time between 4:30 and 5 p.m. for the green flag.

Boles is unsure if all 200 laps and 500 miles will be run. For a winner to be determined, 101 laps have to be completed. With rain expected to continue in the evening, it's unclear if enough laps can be run to get to 101, or if the race would be stopped at that mark. There's also a possibility for the race to be completed on Monday, although that's not ideal.

"It's a really challenging day for us," Boles said. "We have a lot of passionate fans here who want to be here. We have fans who travel in from all over who have to leave tomorrow. We have fans who live here, they can be here tomorrow. So no matter what decision we make at this point is going to be a difficult one for some of our fans."

The 2024 Indy 500 will be run, but it's unsure when and to what extent. Follow along for updates throughout the day.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: What to know about the Indy 500's delay and IMS procedures