The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Indianapolis 500 to be postponed from May 24 to Aug. 23. The pandemic is now turning the Indianapolis Motor Speedway into a critical location for the fight against the virus.
According to FOX 59 in Indianapolis, the annual hosting site of the Indy 500 will now be used for Indiana residents to undergo tests for COVID-19. Residents in Indianapolis can schedule an appointment to undergo testing for the coronavirus at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.
Indianapolis has been greatly impacted by the ongoing pandemic, accounting for nearly a third of Indiana’s 32,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The new testing site, which will provide walk-up and drive-through testing, will help provide free testing for communities in need.
IndyCar announced in March that it was postponing the Indianapolis 500 out of interest for the health and safety of drivers and fans. The iconic race had been held on Memorial Day weekend each year since 1947 and this will mark the first time since the Indy 500 started that it will be held outside of May.
This isn’t the first time a stadium has been used to help in the fight against COVID-19. Century Link Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, and Sleep Train Arena, the former home of the Sacramento Kings, have been used as surge hospitals.
While it’s unfortunate that an incredible tradition had to end this year for the Indy 500, it’s good to see the speedway will be put to good use. It can mark another important chapter in the history of IMS, which already has a storied tradition.