Indianapolis 500: Schedule, TV information, expected entries for 2020 race

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The 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place this Memorial Day weekend. Check out all you need to know about the race below, including the race schedule, expected entries and more.

When is the Indy 500 and how can I watch it?

The race takes place on Sunday, May 24, with a 12:45 p.m. ET start time. NBC will broadcast live, flag-to-flag coverage of the race, with streaming coverage available on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Entries

At least 33 driver and car combinations are unofficially confirmed so far for this year’s race, with additional entries likely to be announced within the next month. Only the 33 fastest cars will qualify for the race. 

Notable drivers

At least eight former winners and five rookies will attempt to qualify for this year’s race. Past Indy 500 winners include Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Takuma Sato, Alexander Rossi, Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon, and Helio Castroneves. Should Castroneves win this year, he would become the fourth driver in race history to win four Indy 500s. A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears are the only other drivers to have won four times.

Two drivers who will attempt to qualify for this year’s race are relatives of previous Indy winners. Graham Rahal is the son of 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal, and Marco Andretti is the grandson of 1969 winner Mario Andretti.

There are six former NTT IndyCar Series champions expected to qualify for this year’s Indy 500, and all of them except for Josef Newgarden have won at Indy. The 2017 and 2019 IndyCar champion, Newgarden would only add to his legacy with a win at the Brickyard. 

There are currently two Hoosiers expected to compete in this year’s race. Ed Carpenter hails from Indianapolis and is a graduate of Butler University. Conor Daly is from nearby Noblesville.

Two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso also returns for the third time in his career. Alonso won Rookie of the Year honors in his Indy debut in 2017. Last year, he failed to qualify for the race after a difficult month of May.

MORE: Click here for a full list of unofficial entries so far on a team-by-team basis

The cars

All entered teams will utilize a Dallara DW-12 chassis with a Dallara IR-18 aero kit. Each car will be powered by 2.2-liter V6 twin-turbocharged engines provided by either Honda or Chevrolet. All cars run on Firestone Firehawk racing tires and use Speedway E85 fuel (a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline).

Defending champions

Simon Pagenuad swept the month of May for Team Penske, winning the first 500 of his career. He previously won the race’s Pole Position and the IndyCar Grand Prix on the IMS road course. Pagenaud’s victory was the second consecutive and 18th overall Indy 500 victory for Penske.

Coronavirus impact

IndyCar released a statement Wednesday afternoon that the sanctioning body is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak, but expects no schedule disruptions to its NTT Data Series season opener.

“We are actively monitoring the situation and working closely with public health officials to ensure the well-being of our spectators and event participants. We don’t expect any disruptions to the IndyCar schedule, including next week’s race in St. Petersburg and the Month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

Month of May schedule

Here’s the Indy 500 schedule of on-track activity for the month of May. Official broadcasting information will be released at a later date.

(All times are Eastern)

Tuesday, May 12

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice
1 – 3 p.m. – Rookie orientation
3 – 6 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice

Wednesday, May 13

11 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice

Thursday, May 14

11 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice

Friday, May 15

11 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Practice
6:15 – Qualifications order draw

Saturday, May 16

8 – 8:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice – Group 1
8:30 – 9 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice – Group 2
9 – 9:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice – Full field
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Qualifying
2 – 5 p.m. – Qualifying
5 – 5:50 p.m. – Qualifying 

Sunday, May 17

10:15 – 10:45 a.m. – Last Row Shootout practice
10:45 – 11:15 a.m. – Fast Nine Shootout practice
12:30 – 1 p.m. – Last Row Shootout qualifying
1 – 1:45 p.m. – Last Row Shootout qualifying
1:45 – 2:30 p.m. – Fast Nine Shootout qualifying
3:30 – 6 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 starting field practice
6:30 p.m. – NTT P1 Award presentation

Monday, May 18

12 – 2 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice
2:30 – 4 p.m. – Indy Lights practice

Friday, May 22

11 a.m. – 12 p.m – Indianapolis 500 practice
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Indy Lights Freedom 100
2 – 3:30 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 Pit Stop Challenge

Sunday, May 24

12:45 p.m. – 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 (NBC)

Extensive Indy 500 coverage

NBC also has expanded its Indianapolis 500 qualifying coverage for 2020, adding a second day of broadcast coverage and two additional hours on NBC. Indy 500 qualifying will air on Saturday, May 16 from 2-5 p.m. ET on NBC with additional coverage on NBC from 1-3 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 17.

The remaining nine events of the 2020 season will air on NBCSN, beginning with the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 15. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app also will stream all races during the 2020 IndyCar season.

NBC Sports Gold’s INDYCAR PASS will provide more than 200 hours of programming in 2020 and more than 50 hours surrounding the Indianapolis 500. The pass (available for $54.99 annually) offers live coverage of all IndyCar practice and qualifying sessions and live coverage of Indy Lights races and full replays of all NTT IndyCar Series races. Click here for more information on NBC Sports Gold’s INDYCAR PASS.

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