Where to Watch Indianapolis 500: Start Time, TV Channel, Live Stream and Odds

Nine months after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to be postponed to August, the Indianapolis 500 returns to its traditional Memorial Day Weekend spot.

The sense of normalcy returning will be heightened by the sight of fans back in the stands at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with 135,000 spectators allowed to attend the race on Sunday.

While the figure only represents 40 percent of capacity, it will be a significant change from August 2020, when the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" was held behind closed doors.

Scott Dixon starts from pole position for the fourth time in his career as he looks to win at the Brickyard for the first time since his maiden triumph 13 years ago, while last year's winner, Takuma Sato, starts from 15th place on the grid. The Japanese is aiming to become the first driver to win back-to-back at the Indianapolis 500 since Helio Castroneves pulled off the feat in 2002.

Here's all you need to know ahead of Sunday.

When is the Indianapolis 500?

The 105th running of the Indy 500 takes place on Sunday, May 30, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race start is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. ET. As ever, the race will be contested over 200 laps.

Indianapolis 500 TV coverage

The race will be carried by NBC, which replaced ABC as the Indy's 500 traditional broadcasting partner in 2019 after a 54-year tenure. Pre-race coverage begins at 9 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, before switching to NBC at 11 a.m. ET. The post-race coverage, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, will again be shown on NBC Sports Network.

Mike Tirico will head NBC's studio coverage, alongside retired IndyCar and NASCAR star Danica Patrick and NASCAR great Jimmie Johnson. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rutledge Wood and Jac Collinsworth are also part of the coverage.

Leigh Diffey is the play-by-play announcer, with Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy as analysts, while Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast and Kevin Lee are the pit reporters.

Significantly, for the second consecutive year, the race will not be subject to local area blackouts and will be broadcast live on WTHR-13 in the Indianapolis area.

Indianapolis 500 online coverage

Livestream of the race will be available on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Streaming services fuboTV and Sling TV also both carry NBC.

Will the Indianapolis 500 have fans?

After holding the race behind closed doors last year, the Indianapolis 500 will again welcome fans. Attendance will be capped at 40 percent of capacity, but that still means 135,000 fans will walk through the turnstiles, making it by far the largest crowd attending a single event since the coronavirus pandemic ground sports to a halt in March 2020.

Spectators will be required to wear face coverings and groups will be spaced out in the stands.

Who is the Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter?

Scott Dixon will start from pole position on Sunday for the fourth time in his career, after clocking an average speed of 231.685 mph over his four laps in the shootout last week. Dixon is joined on the front row by Colton Herta and Rinus VeeKay, with Ed Carpenter, Tony Kanaan and Alex Palou making up the second row.

Last year's winner, Takuma Sato, starts 15th. He is one of nine former Indianapolis 500 in the field along with Dixon, Kanaan, Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves.

Indianapolis 500 odds

Dixon is a 10-3 favorite with DraftKings and FanDuel and 4-1 with William Hill, followed by Herta at 7-1 and Patricio O'Ward at 11-2. Palou is a 10-1 outsider, with Alexander Rossi and Josef Newgarden at 12-1 and Kanaan a 14-1 shot.

Takuma Sato at the Indianapolis 500
Takuma Sato, driver of the #30 Panasonic / PeopleReady Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 23, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Uncommon Knowledge

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

About the writer

Dan Cancian is currently a reporter for Newsweek based in London, England. Prior to joining Newsweek in January 2018, he was a news and business reporter at International Business Times UK. Dan has also written for The Guardian and The Observer. 

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