Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has issued a “Stay at Home” order for the entire state beginning Wednesday, March 25 through April 7. That will effectively shut down IndyCar Series teams from working at the shop for an extra week as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be addressed.
“The next two weeks are critical if we are to slow the spread of COVID-19, and we must slow the spread. You must be part of the solution, not the problem,” Gov. Holcomb said during a live address Monday afternoon televised throughout the state.
Holcomb has ordered that all residents of Indiana remain in their homes except when working for essential businesses or for ‘permitted activities, such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies, and for health and safety.’
“Essential businesses and services include but are not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, police stations, fire stations, hospitals, doctor’s offices, health care facilities, garbage pickup, public transit, and public service hotlines such as SNAP and HIP 2.0,” according to the Governor’s executive order.
This decision is important to IndyCar Series teams and vendors as they currently do not fall under the “essential business” category. The majority of teams in the NTT IndyCar Series are based in the Indianapolis area and will be impacted by this order. Team Penske is in Mooresville, North Carolina, and Dale Coyne Racing is in Plainfield, Illinois.
Teams in IndyCar already had shut down after returning from the canceled St. Petersburg street race last week. Several, including Chip Ganassi Racing, A.J. Foyt Racing and Dale Coyne Racing, had announced they would re-open on March 30 prior to Governor Holcomb’s announcement.
The Indiana Governor’s executive orders mean those operations will remain closed for at least another week. Teams have told NBCSports.com that some of the engineering and simulation work is being done while staff works from home.
IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are moving forward with the intention of running the 104th Indianapolis 500 on May 24, provided the COVID-19 pandemic is under control by then.
NBCSports.com will update this developing story.