2020 Open-Wheels 500

Media Services

SOCIAL MEDIA
Coverage of the Open-Wheels 500 on Open-Wheels.com will begin with our social media channels, which distribute our articles, broadcast links, creative graphics, photos, and more! Follow us on social media to stay in tune with everything happening on-track this fall.

Facebook: facebook.com/openwheelsweb
Instagram: instagram.com/openwheels
Twitter: twitter.com/openwheels500
YouTube: open-wheels.com/TV

PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTORY
The Open-Wheels 500 is represented by Open-Wheels Motorsports Sanctioning. Inquiries to the stewards or other race officials concerning competition matters, liveries, or other on-track particulars are to be directed to RaceControl@Open-Wheels.com. All requests for media access towards the Open-Wheels 500 – or inquiries towards Open-Wheels TV – should be made the the president of the event below:

Tanner Watkins
President of the Open-Wheels 500
E: tanner@open-wheels.com

For requests to contact our broadcast partner, RaceSpot TV, please follow the directories listed below:

Media/Press Inquiries: Wil@RaceSpot.TV
Broadcast Re-Use: Hugo@RaceSpot.TV
General Inquiries: racespot.tv/contact-us/

PRESS CONFERENCES
A schedule of press conferences is listed below. Press conferences will be conducted within the Open-Wheels Discord server and will be aired (audio only) via Open-Wheels’ YouTube channel. All times listed are Eastern (US).

Sunday, November 1 | Opening Day Press Conference (12:30 PM)
Saturday, November 7 | Pit Lane Parley Pole Winner (6:15 PM)
Saturday, November 7 | Pole Day Feature Story (6:30 PM)
Sunday, November 8 | Bump Day Feature Story (6:15 PM)
Friday, November 13 | Media Day, Press Conferences All Day
Saturday, November 14 | Veterans 100 and Pit Stop Competition Winners (Times TBD)
Sunday, November 15 | Open-Wheels 500 Race Winner (2:30 PM)
Sunday, November 15 | Open-Wheels 500 Runner-Up (2:45 PM)
Sunday, November 15 | Open-Wheels 500 Third Place (3:00 PM)

LEADING STORYLINES FOR 2020
Arguably the most competitive field in iRacing Indianapolis 500 history. Between former top split race winners and pole sitters, championship winners, returning veterans, and all-time greats like Demeritt, Doyle, Ou, Traino and more, this Open-Wheels 500 is one of the great fields in iRacing history due to the talent accumulation on-hand.

The 2019 qualifications record will certainly be broken – but by who? The 2019 Open-Wheels 500 pole speed was 229.925 mph set by Yang Ou, but Ou shattered the previous iRacing Indy 500 pole record this past May with a four-lap average at 231.529 mph.  With an extra untimed lap for warm-up at the Open-Wheels 500, lap one speed can be even quicker and it is possible that we break the iRacing Indianapolis 500 qualifications record at this year’s Open-Wheels 500.  Will it be Yang Ou again, or will someone take his place as qualifying king in 2020?

Extensive media coverage of the 2020 Open-Wheels 500 will be unprecedented for any sim racing event.  RaceSpot TV headlines on-air coverage for the 2020 Open-Wheels 500, including final-hour coverage of Pole Day (Saturday, November 7 at 5:00 PM ET) and Bump Day (Sunday, November 8 at 5:00 PM ET) as well as the worldwide race broadcast on Sunday, November 15 at 11:30 AM ET.  Additionally, RaceSpot will air the Qualifications Draw live on Thursday, November 5 (8:00 PM ET), Veterans 100 qualifications on Friday, November 13 (8:00 PM) and, potentially, the Veterans 100 and Pit Stop Competition on Saturday, November 14.  

Furthermore, Open-Wheels TV will carry every second of practice and qualifications coverage leading into RaceSpot TV coverage throughout the month of November – as well as the nightly practice day show Today at the 500, which returns in 2020 after high praise in 2019.  This is all in addition to editorial coverage on Open-Wheels.com by Tanner Watkins and Spencer Neff.

The Open-Wheels 500 continues with an eclectic mix of international and domestic participants. The 2019 race saw each of our top three finishers as racers from outside the USA – Michele Costantini (Italy) plus Liam Quinn and Henry Bennett (U.K.).  This year, there are 69 drivers from the USA on the entry list, but the number of international entrants has risen to 41 – up from 34 last year.  The Open-Wheels 500 truly is an international event, with drivers represented from not only the USA but also Argentina, Australia/New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and more!  Can the Americans break through in 2020?

ENTRY LIST STATISTICS
– 14 former winners of a major “500” on iRacing (iRacing Indianapolis 500 top split and 2019 Open-Wheels 500) are on the entry list. Among the winners are 16 wins in the top split iRacing “500”, including seven feature race winners. This year’s former winner list includes: Adam Blocker, Simon Briant, Jason Brophy, Joshua Chin, Michele Costantini, Christopher Demeritt, Tim Doyle, Austin Espitee, Ray Kingsbury, Andrew Kinsella, Brendan Lichtenberg, Yang Ou, Matt Pawelski, and Brandon Traino. There were 10 former winners on the 2019 entry list.

– 29 of the 33 starters from the 2019 Open-Wheels 500 return for this year’s race. The only omissions are Jeff Drake, John Hajek-Doggett, Silvio Sanchez and Bradley Walters.

– The 2019 race winner and pole sitter both return for the 2020 Open-Wheels 500. Italian driver Michele Costantini won the inaugural Open-Wheels 500 last year while reigning iRacing Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Yang Ou looks to defend his Pit Lane Parley Pole Award from 2019.

– 48 drivers entered for this year’s race have made at least one start in the iRacing Indianapolis 500’s top split. 34 of those drivers have led a lap in the iRacing Indianapolis 500’s top split history. 45 drivers from the 2019 event had top split “500” experience.

– 11 of the 12 lap leaders from the 2019 Open-Wheels 500 will return for the 2020 event. The only driver who led a lap in 2019 that won’t race in 2020 is the aforementioned Drake.

– 58 drivers on this year’s entry list are newcomers to the Open-Wheels 500. These drivers did not take part in the 2019 event but will participate in 2020, while 52 of the 104 entries from last year return.

– 58 entrants selected Chevrolet as their engine partner while 52 drivers are aligned with Honda. New for 2020, drivers can publicly declare their engine manufacturer and represent them through the month of November.

– 69 drivers hail from the United States with 41 entrants coming from international countries. Last year there were 70 American drivers and 34 international entrants. A total of 13 drivers are registered for the 2020 race while representing the Indiana club.

– 108 of the 110 drivers will pilot a Dallara IR-18 chassis. While drivers could select from any of the three Indy car chassis available on iRacing, only Chad Irvine (Dallara IR-05) and Raphael Sabara (Dallara DW-12) strayed from the pack.

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