Penske reverses course, closes Indianapolis 500 to fans

Simon Pagenaud's car following the Indy 500 victory in 2019. (Photo: Walter Kuhn. IMS Photographer)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Roger Penske has reversed course and decided not to allow fans at the Indianapolis 500 later this month.

The 104th running of “The Great American Race” will be the first without spectators, who showed up at Indianapolis Motor Speedway every year even during the Great Depression. It was a flip for Penske, who initially said he wouldn’t run the 500 without fans.

But as the pandemic continued to spread through the nation, the decision was made to limit capacity to 50%. The speedway then lowered that number to 25% and now has decided on no fans at all.