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Published Time: 26.05.2024 - 12:05:01 Modified Time: 26.05.2024 - 12:05:01

In addition to clearing the grandstands, Boles said the EDM music festival (which draws 30,000 to the Snake Pit in Turn 3) also would be halted. Indy 500 weather

Boles estimated 125,000 of an expected crowd of 345,000 were inside the track.

“What we will do is continue to pay attention to the storm,” Boles said. “It might have a chance of (missing the track). The biggest concern is lightning not water. This is a challenging day for us. We have a lot of passionate fans here. No matter the decision, the most important thing is thinking the fans.

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“The hope is that on the backside of (the storm), we can begin drying the track by 2:30 to 3 p.m. and still start the Indianapolis 500 and get the race in today.”

Boles said there had been no discussions how late the race could start. Sunset is around 9 p.m. ET, and it takes three hours to complete 500 miles.

In addition to clearing the grandstands, Boles said the EDM music festival (which draws 30,000 to the Snake Pit in Turn 3) also would be halted.

As of 10:30 a.m., IMS was in a weather hold. Cars had yet to be pushed to the grid as had been scheduled.

IMS clears the grandstands when lightning strikes within 8 miles of the track.

Boles said once the expected storm passes, the weather still looks good for getting the race in over the rest of Sunday. He added that the lightning mostly was in the front end of the storm.

Boles said during a 6:20 a.m. news conference that the track considered moving the start ahead by 30 minutes but decided at 4:45 a.m. ET to stay with the original schedule.

“There was consideration of moving the start time up to 12:15, but it didn’t make any sense to do that,” Boles said. “The last thing we want is to move it up to 12:15 and have customers waiting and then ask them to leave because of the weather. Because of where (the storm is) tracking, that doesn’t make sense and maybe would put us in a worse situation.”

The start of the race being in doubt also cast a pall of uncertainty on Kyle Larson’s bid to become the fifth driver to run the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

The green flag for the Coke 600 was set for 6:22 p.m. ET, meaning Larson likely would be unable to make the start if he and Hendrick Motorsports elect to remain at the Brickyard.

In a prerace interview with NBC Sports’ Marty Snider, Larson reiterated that making his Indy 500 debut was a priority. “It’s not just my decision, it’s everybody within Hendrick, Rick Hendrick, Hendrick Automotive Group (the sponsor), Hendrick Motorsports all that,” Larson said. “I think we ‘re all part of the decision. Jeff Gordon, Jeff Andrews. There’s just been so much time and investment to make this Indy 500 happen. It’s been a buildup for over a year. We need to run it, and I want to; I feel like I have a really good shot to have a good run and potentially win.

“I just wish it would all work out, and we could get both races in the full distance. I don’t care if it’s on the same day. I just want to be able to race both races the full distance. But we’ll see.”

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