Indy 500: Track drying to begin, aim for 4:44 p.m. race start

Update (3:25 p.m.)

Officials have released the updated schedule for Sunday afternoon’s race:

  • 3:48 p.m. – Driver Introductions

  • 4:16 p.m. – Pre-race ceremonies

  • 4:24 p.m. – National Anthem

  • 4:35 p.m. – “Back Home Again In Indiana”

  • 4:37 p.m. – Drivers start your engines

  • 4:44 p.m. – Green flag.

Update (3:09 p.m.)

In a statement from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, officials thanked the fans for waiting out the rain. They confirmed that NBC will televise the race live, without blackouts, in Central Indiana because of the storm.

“We hope to see racing action soon and track drying is underway,” the statement read.

Update (2:35 p.m.)

Track drying will begin soon as IMS officials hope for a 5:30 p.m. start of the Indianapolis 500. FOX59/CBS4 continues to monitor developing rain storms.

IPS President Doug Boles said that this evening’s race will be broadcast live on NBC.

Update (2:10 p.m.)

IMS said fans may now return to the grandstands and the gates have re-opened as lightning is no longer in the area.

Update (12:35 p.m.)

Lightning was detected near Indianapolis Motor Speedway around 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Fans are still being asked to exit the grandstands and seek shelter.

Gate ingress has been stopped, but gate egress is still allowed. No timetable for when the Indy 500 will start has been made available.

Update (11:56 a.m.)

Officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department are encouraging people to seek shelter in their vehicles.

“Let’s ensure everyone stays safe and enjoys the race responsibly,” the department said.

Update (11:20 a.m.)

In a statement from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, officials said pre-race ceremonies have been paused. Fans will need to move out of the grandstands and the Snake Pit.

“Spectators are encouraged to follow the instructions of IMS team members,” a statement read. “They should exit the grandstands in an orderly fashion and implement their personal safety plans. The start of the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will also be delayed. Additional updates on timing will be communicated.”

Original Story:

INDIANAPOLIS — During an update Sunday morning, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles said that the Indianapolis 500 festivities would be delayed if the current weather system tracking toward Indianapolis remains on its path.

Boles said that if it remains on its current path, fans will be asked to leave the grandstands and implement their own safety procedures around 11:15 a.m. on Sunday. The music in the Snake Pit, as well as other pre-race festivities, will also be stopped at that time.

Photo gallery: Scenes from 108th Indianapolis 500

Two rounds of storms are expected for Sunday, which could impact the race. The first round of storms is expected in the late morning and early afternoon, potentially impacting the race. The second round of storms is expected in the late evening and overnight, which is the main severe threat.

Boles said that if fans choose to leave the speedway and seek cover from the rain, they will be allowed back on the grounds if the race is hosted on Sunday

Boles said IMS officials believe the storm system could leave the area between 2:30 and 3 p.m. After the storm has moved through, it is estimated that it will take around 1.5 hours to dry the track.

Storms in play at times on race day Sunday

For more information on race day festivities, click here.

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