Indianapolis 500

8 things to know about 2019 Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 will be Sunday, May 26, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The schedule calls for the race to start at 12:45 p.m., about 25 minutes later than 2018. But, rain is in the forecast.

From News 8, here are eight things to know about the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Starting grid

Only 1.8040 seconds separated pole sitter Simon Pagenaud from Kyle Kaiser, the final qualifier, to set the closest 33-driver field in Indy 500 history.

“I think all the cars are so close these days,” Pagenaud told The Associated Press. “(You) can see that all the teams are raising the game, all the drivers are raising their game. It’s honestly tremendous to be in this era of the sport because you get better and better every weekend and it never stops.”

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The drivers next return to the track for Friday’s “Carb Day.” 

Go online for the starting order and photos of all the racers.

Follow WISH-TV on race day

On race-day morning, WISH-TV will broadcast from the track for seven hours, from 5 a.m.-noon. Sports Director Anthony Calhoun and race analyst Tyce Carlson will be in the garages as the drivers and their teams prepare for the race.

News 8 anchors, reporters and meteorologists will be on hand with the latest fun plus weather and traffic reports. We’ll have live reports from all over the track, including the Snake Pit.

You can stream all eight hours of coverage on WISHTV.com and the “Stream Newscasts” section of the WISH-TV app.

Online

A live blog of prerace and race activities will be on WISHTV.com and the WISH-TV app.

Members of the WISH-TV news desk will tweet prerace and race photos and other coverage live at @WISH_TV.

Weather

Storm Track 8 reported Friday that scattered showers and storms could occur at any time throughout the daylight hours Sunday. Highs will top out in the lower 80s. There is a marginal risk of severe weather on race day throughout all of central Indiana. Go online for updates.

How to watch the race

General admission tickets remain available on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website. Reserved-seat tickets were available Tuesday for as low as $38 on some resale sites, which also offered race-day parking passes starting at $100. 

NBC will broadcast the race on TV, but it will be blacked-out in Indianapolis. Before this year, ABC had aired the Indianapolis 500 since 1965. Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR planned to replay the prerace and race beginning at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network will broadcast the race on many stations.

IndyCarPass, a streaming service of NBC, will only offer the race “on demand” after it’s finished.

Snake Pit fun

Before and during the race, the Indy 500 Snake Pit festival will be ongoing for the 18-and-older crowd. To get in, festival-goers need not only Indy 500 tickets but also tickets to the electronic music concerts. 

Skrillex, Alesso, Illenium and Chris Lake will headline the concert in the infield adjacent to Turn 3 of the oval. Performances will start about an hour after the speedway gates open.

Here is the lineup: Retro Ricky, 7:15 a.m.; Chris Lake, 8:45 a.m.; Illenium, 10:15 a.m.; Alesso, 12:50 p.m.; and Skrillex, 2:25 p.m.

Tickets go for as much as $210 for a VIP admission package, which is available through Friday at that price. The package includes a general-admission race ticket and a Snake Pit VIP wristband. Go online for ticket information.

Getting there

The choices are many. Even if you’re coming from out of town.

Rally is a travel service that offers round trips from 45 locations including Chicago: Champaign, Illinois; Kansas City; Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Louisville, Ky.; and Pittsburgh, Pa.

From Indianapolis International Airport, a round-trip shuttle service from ParkMobile.io will take people to the track. The shuttles will start departing from the main gate an hour after the race ends.

Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft will drop off and pick up passengers at the corner of Main and Gilman streets in Speedway. Taxi will do the same at the corner of 10th and Polco streets.

There are even plans for scooter users, as News 8’s Juila Deng reported. The town of Speedway agreed to lift its scooter ban along 10th Street for race weekend, provided scooters are dropped off in a designated parking area approximately four blocks from the main gate of the track.

What’s you can take into the track

Glass containers and large coolers may be the most common items that race fans have to abandon before they go in the gates.

The speedway has a list of banned items that includes weapons, selfie sticks and flyers. Carts and wagons are banned on race day. Bicycles and scooters cannot come into the track.

The track also limits the size of coolers that can be admitted. Coolers may be hard- or soft-sided, but can be no larger than 18-by-14-by-14 inches.

Umbrellas are welcome as long as they don’t obstruct the view of others.

Camera stands, flags and audio- and video-recording devices are allowed, but not in the concert areas. Also, the VIP concerts areas don’t allow folding chairs, although they’re allowed in the general admission concert areas.

In the garage areas, there is no smoking, no alcoholic beverages and no coolers. Bags will be searched before entering garage areas.

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