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IMS: No fans for Brickyard 400

NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) takes the lead on a restart during the NASCAR Brickyard 400 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) – Businesses in Indiana are continuing to open as restrictions are lifted following the statewide lockdown.

Several weeks ago, when Governor Eric Holcomb announced his plan to open the state in different stages, he set July 4 as the date for when everything in the state would back open and running. While that is still the plan for most of the state, with Stage 5 set to allow sporting venues to hold public events with social distancing guidelines, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will not allow spectators at July 4 weekend events, including the Brickyard 400.

IMS made the announcement Thursday morning. With Marion County, where the speedway is located, having just entered Stage 3 10 days ago, the venue is exercising caution.

In announcing the news, Penske Entertainment Corp. president & CEO Mark Miles released the following statement:

While we certainly worked diligently to run our events with spectators, we reached a point where we needed to make a final decision because the race weekend is less than a month away. Today it’s not possible to be confident that Indianapolis will be at Stage 5 of the state’s reopening plan by the Fourth of July weekend.

We are extremely appreciative of the time and expertise Governor Holcomb, Mayor Hogsett and state and local public health officials have given us over the last few months. This was a collaborative process and a decision we’re all aligned with after thorough review of the situation. We remain committed to welcoming the world’s greatest fans to the Speedway for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in late August.”