Indy 500 in virtual reality


Staff Reports

Usually, May belongs to the Indianapolis 500. But the most famous automobile race in the world can’t go May 24 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fans cannot sit elbow to elbow at the Brickyard, so race organizers are bringing the race’s festivities to the home through technology with a series of events between today and Sunday.

The activities are being called #500atHome, culminating with a Sunday national broadcast “Indy 500 Special: Back Home Again.”

Fans are being invited to visit to access interactive programs, history and the like to absorb a replacement Indy 500 experience.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles said this is “the best way to virtually celebrate” since the actual race has been postponed. Right now, the Indianapolis 500 has been rescheduled for Aug. 23, pending developments with the coronavirus in the coming months.

Today, people can follow educational activities and a tutorial on race history. The race dates to 1911.

Friday will feature Carb Day with classic rock and previous Carb Day “throwbacks” on Indianapolis radio stations Q95 WFBQ, 99.5 WZPL and 105.4 WJJK and other activities.

Saturday will offer a day of history in an event called Legends Day with famous winners and races being studied. A virtual tour of the IMS museum is being offered.

As part of the history program, Boles and historian Donald Davidson will team up with the Indiana Historical Society for a virtual History Happy Hour.

Sunday, the date of the originally scheduled race, will feature the special at 2 p.m., including broadcaster Mike Tirico and drivers Simon Pagenaud, the 2019 winner, and Alexander Rossi, the 2016 champion.

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