Severe Storms Delay Indy 500, 125,000 Evacuated: Kyle Larson’s “Double” in Jeopardy 

 May 27, 2024

By  Joe Habscheid

Summary: The Indianapolis 500, initially set to begin at 12:45 p.m. EDT, faced a four-hour delay due to severe thunderstorms. The threat of heavy rain, strong winds, and lightning prompted the evacuation of 125,000 fans from the grandstands. The race eventually commenced at 4:45 p.m. EDT, affecting notable participants like Kyle Larson, who aimed to complete “The Double” by competing in both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Storms and Safety Measures

In a turn of events that impacted racing schedules, the Indianapolis 500 was delayed due to severe thunderstorms forecasted to bring heavy rain, strong winds, and lightning. Safety measures necessitated the evacuation of around 125,000 fans from the grandstands, emphasizing the priority of ensuring a safe environment for both spectators and participants.

Initial Schedule and Postponement

The race was supposed to kick off at 12:45 p.m. EDT. However, the impending storms forced organizers to reschedule. This delay was essential not only for spectator safety but also to provide a window for drying the track, making it safe for racing once the severe weather passed.

Impact on Racing Plans

The delay had significant ramifications, particularly for Kyle Larson, who had planned to participate in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, an achievement often referred to as “The Double.” With the delay pushing the start time to approximately 4:45 p.m. EDT, his ability to perform in both events became highly uncertain.

Managing Severe Weather

The severe thunderstorms underscore the importance of weather management in large sporting events. Organizers closely track weather forecasts to make informed decisions that affect both the safety of attendees and the performance schedules of athletes. The delayed start at the Indianapolis 500 highlights the complexities and challenges of managing such high-profile events under unpredictable weather conditions.

Resuming the Race

The race eventually commenced at 4:45 p.m. EDT after ensuring the track conditions were safe for racing. This decision required meticulous planning and cooperation between meteorologists, event organizers, and safety officials. The successful drying of the track allowed for a safe racing environment, illustrating the effective management that can mitigate the impacts of severe weather delays.


In conclusion, the four-hour delay of the Indianapolis 500 due to severe thunderstorms had a considerable impact on both the spectators and participants, particularly Kyle Larson’s plans. The effective handling of the delay and subsequent race commencement showcase the critical importance of safety protocols and weather management in large-scale events.

#Indianapolis500 #SevereWeather #EventSafety #KyleLarson #TheDouble

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Featured Image courtesy of Unsplash and NOAA (p9BRX1mBfe4)

Joe Habscheid

Joe Habscheid is the founder of midmichiganai.com. A trilingual speaker fluent in Luxemburgese, German, and English, he grew up in Germany near Luxembourg. After obtaining a Master's in Physics in Germany, he moved to the U.S. and built a successful electronics manufacturing office. With an MBA and over 20 years of expertise transforming several small businesses into multi-seven-figure successes, Joe believes in using time wisely. His approach to consulting helps clients increase revenue and execute growth strategies. Joe's writings offer valuable insights into AI, marketing, politics, and general interests.

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