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Top Moments of 2019 - #5: Brickyard Weekend on the Move in 2020

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth of a series of 10 vignettes in which IMS Senior Communications Manager Paul Kelly picks his top 10 moments of 2019 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The annual NASCAR weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been on an upswing since it was moved to early September in 2018. The last two years have seen more enthusiasm, more community involvement, growing crowds, energetic live music from global superstars and excellent racing from the best stock car drivers on the planet.

But as the old song says, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

The Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line and the Indiana 250 will enter a new, star-spangled era in 2020 when the 27th annual NASCAR showcase at IMS moves to Fourth of July weekend, Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5.

IMS and NASCAR officials announced the move March 26, creating a new marquee summer event in Indianapolis and on the national sporting calendar.

It’s a bit of a case of back to the future for the Brickyard. The NASCAR weekend at IMS took place in late July or early August for its first 24 years.

All the events that have helped raise interest in the Brickyard weekend will return on the Fourth of July weekend next year, bigger and better than ever.

Along with FGL Fest, the Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink United States Auto Club (USAC) National Midget Championship event also will move to the new NASCAR event week in July 2020. The Speedway will also look to add special events and activations to the weekend schedule as part of its embrace of the holiday weekend.

A strong, generation-spanning connection between IMS and honoring America will be enhanced through this new event date. Starting in 2020, IMS will host major event weekends on two holidays that celebrate American values, patriotism and sacrifice – the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Memorial Day weekend and the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line on Independence Day weekend.

IMS President Doug Boles perfectly summed up the excitement over the move.

“There’s no better venue to throw a massive party for our nation’s birthday than the Racing Capital of the World,” Boles said. “Fourth of July weekend is a celebration of patriotism and getting outside in the summer with family and friends, and a Big Machine concert and NASCAR racing at the Speedway combine those two traditions, making for a special Independence Weekend celebration!

“A record 47 million Americans were estimated to have traveled on Fourth of July weekend in 2018, and we’re confident that this new date and a host of fun activities on and off the track at IMS will help draw more fans to our venue and build on the buzz surrounding last year’s enhanced schedule. We’re looking forward to a can’t-miss holiday extravaganza for Hoosiers and sports fans everywhere.”

We can’t wait.

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