Indianapolis 500 Start Delayed By Rain, Lightning – Update

UPDATE: Josef Newgarden won the race for the second year in a row for Team Penske. The Tennessean won a final-lap duel with Pato O’Ward to become the first driver to win consecutive 500s since Helio Castroneves did it for Penske in 2001 and 2002.

His win gives Roger Penske a record-extending 20th win in the biggest race in the world. Roger is the father of PMC CEO Jay Penske.

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UPDATE: Fans are being allowed back in the grandstand at the Indianapolis 500 and officials are starting to dry the track. An NBC official said it would air the race even with its late start. A 4:30 PM Indiana time start is now anticipated, although a second set of storms may hit the area later today, further complicating completion of the race.

EARLIER: Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials have delayed the start of today’s Indianapolis 500 due to inclement weather in central Indiana. As of 11:17 AM Indiana time, officials asked the 125,000-plus fans inside the venue to exit the grandstands and the Snake Pit and seek shelter.

IMS announced approximately 345,000 tickets were purchased for the race. The Indianapolis 500 is the world’s largest single day sporting event and the race is being televised by NBC Sports.

Earlier, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles told reporters that officials are tracking a potentially severe storm that may include lightning.

Boles said it is anticipated that rain arrives at IMS between noon-12:30 p.m. Indiana time.

He added that the biggest concern is lightning, and asked fans to leave grandstands by 11:15 AM if lightning is approaching the Speedway.

“It’s really a challenging day for us,” he said. “No matter what the decision is, it will be a difficult one.”

If the storm acts as expected, Boles said track drying could begin between 2:30-3 PM Indiana time, with plans to get the race in.

The race has been bumped in the past to Monday by inclement weather.

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