The Indianapolis 500 was postponed Thursday and won't run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1945. The race will instead be held Aug. 23, three months later than its May 24 scheduled date, the AP reports. "The month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favorite time of year, and like our fans, I am disappointed that we have had to reschedule the Indianapolis 500," said Roger Penske, the motorsports titan who finalized his purchase of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year. "However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority," he said. The Indianapolis 500 began in 1911 but did not run in 1917, 1918, and from 1941-45 because of World Wars I and II.
Tony Hulman bought the neglected speedway after the second war and the Indy 500 returned on Memorial Day weekend in 1946 and has been scheduled for that weekend every year since. Although inclement weather has occasionally disrupted the prestigious race, it had never been outright rescheduled until now. Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said the series chose the August date to get away from extended delays caused by the coronavirus shutdown. The Indy 500 honors the military before the race, and Miles said the August date offers "a unique and powerful opportunity to honor the contributions and heroism of the doctors, nurses, first responders, and National Guard members serving on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19."
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