News & Multimedia

Format Changes Enhance Battle To Qualify For Indy 500

The four-lap, 10-mile run to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is one of the most daunting challenges in the Verizon IndyCar Series. This May a new qualifying format to set the 33-car starting lineup will be introduced with the goal of increasing entertainment value for the 2014 qualifying weekend on May 17-18, 2014.

“This new format includes two exciting days of on-track action, all culminating on Sunday with the Fast Nine Shootout,” said Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman Motorsports. “Fans get to watch their favorite drivers battle to make the field on Saturday, and then fight for a pole position on Sunday. It will be a great show for fans attending the race and watching the broadcast on ABC.”

Qualifying will be enhanced with three sessions of time trials over two eventful days:

Saturday, May 17 (11 a.m.-5:50 p.m. ET)
- The fastest 33 cars compose the starting field (but not starting positions).
- All entries are guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to qualify.
- The fastest nine entries advance to the Fast Nine Shootout.

Sunday, May 18 (10:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET)
- Saturday times are erased and entries 10-33 must complete another four-lap attempt to determine their starting position in order of the slowest to fastest from Saturday times.

Fast Nine Shootout, Sunday, May 18 (2-2:45 p.m. ET)
- Each entry will receive one four-lap attempt in the order of the slowest to the fastest from Saturday times. Aggregate times will determine the Verizon P1 Award winner and top three rows.

VIEW NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT INFOGRAPHIC

Qualifying results on Saturday and Sunday will include new points incentives to be announced at a later date. Practice sessions before time trials commence are scheduled both days.

“There is an enormous amount of talent in the field this year, which so far includes five former Indianapolis 500 champions,” said Derrick Walker, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations. “The new format presents an additional challenge to drivers who have one chance to make the field on Saturday, and start over again on Sunday to determine their starting position.”

Fans at home will be able to track their favorite drivers’ progress as they attempt to qualify for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” with extensive coverage on ABC. The network will televise qualifications live from 4-6 p.m. (ET) Saturday, May 17, and 1-3 p.m. (ET) Sunday, May 18, in addition to the 200-lap race Sunday, May 25, marking its 50th consecutive year of coverage of the race.

Additional hours of qualifying will be carried on ESPN3, ESPN’s multi-screen live sports network, with the full schedule to be announced at a later date.

“Down through history, qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 has made for many dramatic and compelling television moments, and we’re confident that the leadership of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR will continue that tradition with this new format. We look forward to bringing it all to our viewers in May,” said Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president, motorsports, production.

Beginning today through April 15, fans may purchase a qualifying ticket package for Saturday and Sunday for $30 (single day tickets are $20). 

The Fast Nine Shootout was introduced in 2010 as part of time trials. Ed Carpenter claimed the pole last May with a four-lap average speed of 228.762 mph, becoming the first team owner/driver since 1975 to earn the coveted No. 1 starting position.

“You have to take big risks when you’re taking a run at the pole or trying to get into the shootout,” said Carpenter, who recorded a fast lap of 229.347 mph during his final run. “We’re always at the limit of what our cars have and never more so than qualifying at Indianapolis. The driver has to be perfect to execute a pole-type run and doing it while the car is right on the edge of its capabilities. It’s extremely stressful and challenging and then rewarding when it goes well. It’s definitely one of the hardest things we do all year long if not the hardest.”

Eighteen drivers have won the historic race from the pole position – most recently Helio Castroneves in 2009. Rick Mears, who earned the pole six times at Indianapolis, won three of his four races from the top starting position.

Team Penske’s Castroneves, a four-time Indy 500 pole sitter, seeks to join Mears, A.J. Foyt and Al Unser as the only four-time winners of the race. Tony Kanaan, who won the 97th Indianapolis 500 after starting 12th, will drive the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car in an attempt to successfully defend his title. Kanaan’s new teammate, reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, will seek to win his second 500 Mile Race. He won from the pole in 2008.

Mears (1979), Johnny Rutherford (1980) and Bobby Unser (1981) combined for the lone three-year stretches in which the pole sitter won the race.


 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Format Changes Enhance Battle To Qualify For Indy 500
 
Format Changes Enhance Battle To Qualify For Indy 500
INDYCAR announced a new qualifying format to set the 33-car starting lineup for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
Read More
Related Media
Legends Day Honoring Al Unser presented by Firestone
 
Four-Time "500" Winner Al Unser to be Honored at Legends Day on May 23
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Firestone will honor four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser during the 45th anniversary of his first Indianapolis 500 victory on Saturday, May 23, 2015, at “Legends Day Honoring Al Unser presented by Firestone.”
Read More
2015 Rolex 24 Victory Podium
 
INDYCAR Drivers Continue 24-Hour Race Wins Streak
Victory in the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona will be quite the preseason confidence boost to Kanaan and teammate Scott Dixon, who co-drove the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates car with Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray.
Read More
Indianapolis 500 Parade of Bands
 
Indianapolis 500 Parade of Bands Recognized by Indianapolis House/Senate Resolution
The 90th anniversary of the annual Parade of Bands that will precede the 2015 Indianapolis 500 was recognized by the Indiana House and Senate in a concurrent resolution during the General Assembly at the Indiana Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis on Monday, Jan. 26.
Read More
A.J. Foyt
 
Sharing 'Super Tex' Stories on a Special 80th Birthday
Anthony Joseph “A.J.” Foyt, the first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and the only driver to win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Daytona and Le Mans, turns 80 today. We asked a few veteran motorsports journalists and broadcasters to share tributes and stories about the man universally known as “Super Tex.”
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Hunter-Reay Presented With Baby Borg Trophy
The trophies are keepsakes for the winning driver and team owner. The 14-inch-tall, sterling silver Championship Driver’s Trophy – a replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy -- rests on a 4-inch by 8-inch beveled black marble base that includes a three-dimensional sterling silver image of the winning driver’s face hand-crafted by noted American sculptor William Behrends, and an inscription of the winning team and year of victory.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 879
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Phil Sparks at (317) 492-6463 or email at psparks@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
#TBT: @jpmontoya's rookie #Indy500 win in 2000. A virtually an unheard-of feat in the modern era. More on The Blog: http://t.co/woUHbWtO6U
about 4 hours ago