SPEEDWAY, Ind. — On Thursday and Friday, IndyCar drivers and crews are getting ready for the big race in May with Indy 500 Open Tests, taking some laps around Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
32 IndyCar crews will come out to see how fast their cars are, practice pit stops and do other tests to make sure they are ready for their season that kicks off next weekend.
“You’ll never talk to a driver or a pit crew member, for example, who says more laps and more time on the track is a bad thing. So everything is an opportunity to prepare for the most important laps of all which will happen May 30th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said IMS spokesperson Alex Damron.
The tests are closed to the public, but when it comes to fans being allowed at the big race in May, the jury is still out. .
“Obviously the month of May is coming up and we know our fans are eager for details, we are very hopeful in the coming weeks we’ll be able to share those,” said Damron.
“Right now, our focus and our priority is preparing to host fans for the month of May, so that is our plan and our focus so we’re doing a lot of planning and preparing to be able to do that.”
The city of Indianapolis just hosted the entire NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament so Damron says they’ve been working with Indiana Sports Corps and the NCAA to see how they pulled it off.
“We’re really inspired by what they were able to do in making sure that the country got to watch March Madness, and our community got to showcase how much spirit and talent we have in being able to put on such a successful event.”
“We’re going to talk with them about their key takeaways and certainly the lessons they’ve learned along the way and the things that they did will have an influence on us.”
In the meantime, during April, the track is being used as a mass vaccine clinic giving out the Johnson & Johnson shot. They anticipate vaccinating 96,000 Hoosiers during the 16-day clinic!
IndyCar is also able to provide the Pfizer vaccine for their drivers and teams through the state’s large employer program.