This year’s Brickyard 400 will run without fans in the stands, organizers say

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 08: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, races during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 08, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS — When racing returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next month, don’t expect fans in the stands.

NASCAR’s Brickyard 400, scheduled for July 5, will be run without fans in attendance, officials announced Thursday.

NASCAR has held several races without fans so far because of limitations on crowd sizes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we certainly worked diligently to run our events with spectators, we reached a point where we needed to make a final decision because the race weekend is less than a month away,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles said. “Today it’s not possible to be confident that Indianapolis will be at Stage 5 of the state’s reopening plan by the Fourth of July weekend.”

Stage 5 of Indiana’s reopening plan allows for sporting venues to host public events with social distancing and is scheduled to begin July 4 in most counties. However, Marion County entered Stage 3 of the road map 10 days after the majority of counties.

The race will be renamed the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records.

Fans who bought tickets to the GMR Grand Prix, Pennzoil 150 or Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records will have the option for a credit to future IMS events or a refund. IMS will contact these fans directly.

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