The largest crowd since the start of the coronavirus pandemic will gather Sunday to watch the Indianapolis 500.

Roughly 135,000 fans will be allowed into Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch the race, about 40% of the racetrack’s capacity. Fans will be required to wear masks, and social distancing will be enforced throughout the racetrack.

NBC will air the Indy 500 for the third straight year, called again by Leigh Diffey, the affable Australian native who has been the voice of NBC’s IndyCar coverage since 2013 (and who got his start at the network calling the Penn Relays on NBCSN).

“We’re back on Memorial Day weekend. The fans are back. We get this unbelievable gift of calling the biggest race in the world when the championship and the series is arguably at its strongest point,” Diffey said during a conference call earlier this week. “I just think we have this amazing gift right now and we’re not going to squander it, we’re going to cherish it.”

In the background is the open question of whether NBC will air the Indy 500 next year. IndyCar’s current deal with the network is up at the end of this season, and with NBCSN shutting down at the end of the year, Sports Business Journal reported earlier this month that NBC could be walking away from the sport.

“We love IndyCar. We love the Indy 500. We love the partnership we have. We hope we can continue that partnership,” said Sam Flood, executive producer and president of production at NBC Sports. “So whatever reports are out there, all I know is, we are fans of this relationship and want it to continue. I’m on the content side of the business, and the commerce side of the business has to navigate that side of the equation.”

Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream the 2021 Indianapolis 500:

What time does the Indy 500 start?

NBC’s live coverage will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern, hosted by Mike Tirico. The race will start at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, and will stream on the NBC Sports App and Early coverage begins at 9 a.m. on NBC Sports Network and Peacock, the network’s streaming service.

  • When: Sunday, May 30

  • Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis

  • Green flag: 12:30 p.m. Eastern

  • Announcers: Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell, Paul Tracy

  • TV: NBC

  • Streaming: NBC Sports app, Peacock

Tirico will also be joined by analyst Danica Patrick, a former IndyCar driver who in 2005 became the first woman in race history to earn a top-five finish.

Joining the duo will be analysts Steve Letarte and Jimmie Johnson, the former NASCAR star turned 45-year-old IndyCar rookie who is a road and street course driver for Chip Ganassi Racing. While he’s not racing in today’s Indy 500, Johnson won four NASCAR races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during his 18-year NASCAR career.

There will also be some cool moments during NBC’s prerace coverage, including an interview of former late-night talk host David Letterman, the co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Who won the Indy 500 in 2020?

Takuma Sato won last year’s race, which was delayed until August and run without spectators due to the pandemic. It was the first time the Indianapolis 500 wasn’t held on or near Memorial Day in the race’s 110-year history (though it was canceled during World War I and World War II).

Sato, who also won the Indianapolis 500 in 2017, took home a little more than $1.37 million for the victory. It was the smallest purse since 1991 and less than half what Simon Pagenaud took home after his victory in 2019, due mostly to a lack of ticket sales because of the pandemic. Sato won about $2.5 million in 2017.

Indy 500 driver lineup

Row 1

  • No. 9: Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 231.685 mph

  • No 26: Colton Herta, Dallara-Honda, 231.655 mph

  • No. 21: Rinus VeeKay, Dallara-Chevy, 231.511 mph

Row 2

  • No 20: Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 231.504 mph

  • No. 48: Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 231.032 mph

  • No 10: Alex Palou, Dallara-Honda, 230.616 mph

Row 3

  • No 28: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 230.499 mph

  • No. 6: Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 230.355 mph

  • No. 8: Marcus Ericsson, Dallara-Honda, 230.318 mph

Row 4

  • No. 27: Alexander Rossi, Honda, 231.046 mph

  • No. 18: Ed Jones, Honda, 231.044 mph

  • No. 5: Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 230.864 mph

Row 5

  • No. 51: Pietro Fittipaldi, Honda, 230.846 mph

  • No. 7: Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 230.744 mph

  • No. 30: Takuma Sato, Honda, 230.708 mph

Row 6

  • No 29: James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 230.563 mph

  • No. 3: Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 230.557 mph

  • No. 15: Graham Rahal, Honda, 230.521 mph

Row 7

  • No. 47: Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 230.427 mph

  • No. 60: Jack Harvey, Honda, 230.191 mph

  • No. 2: Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 230.071 mph

Row 8

  • No. 1: JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 229.980 mph

  • No. 45: Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 229.949 mph

  • No. 86: Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 229.891 mph

Row 9

  • No. 98: Marco Andretti, Honda, 229.872 mph

  • No. 22: Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 229.778 mph

  • No. 14: Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 229.744 mph

Row 10

  • No. 25: Stefan Wilson, Honda, 229.714 mph

  • No. 59: Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 229.417 mph

  • No. 4: Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 228.323 mph

Row 11

  • No. 24: Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 229.156 mph

  • No. 12: Will Power, Chevrolet, 228.876 mph

  • No. 16: Simona De Silvestro, Chevrolet, 228.353 mph

Borg-Warner Trophy

The winner of the Indianapolis 500 is awarded the Borg-Warner Trophy, among the most unusual in all of sports. The trophy, unveiled in 1936, bears a sculpted likeness of every driver who has won the race since Ray Harrou won the first Indy 500 in 1911.

The original trophy ran out of room in 1986 after Bobby Rahal’s victory, leading to the addition of a new base that won’t run out of space until 2034.