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
Josef Newgarden
 
Newgarden Looks to Continue Upward Mobility at Mid-Ohio
Josef Newgarden made a lot of new fans last year at Mid-Ohio. The third-year IndyCar driver came tantalizingly close to earning his first Verizon IndyCar Series win, and if it weren’t for a problematic final pit stop, the Tennessee native could have gone on to victory for the upstart Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team.
Read More
Sherwin-Williams
 
Sherwin-Williams Joins IMS, INDYCAR as Official Partner in Multi-Year Agreement
Sherwin-Williams, an industry leader in paint and coatings, will serve as the Official Paint and Finishing Partner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, INDYCAR, the Verizon IndyCar Series, Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard as part of a multi-year partnership agreement.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Hunter-Reay Tops All-American Podium at Iowa
Hunter-Reay prevailed by .5046 of a second to become the ninth different winner in 13 Verizon IndyCar Series races this season. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Sage Karam finished a career-high third.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Pruett's Preview: Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway
When Ryan Hunter-Reay thinks back to 2014, lasting memories come to mind. The 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion motored to his first win at the legendary Indianapolis 500 in May of 2014, adding his likeness to the famed Borg-Warner trophy and his name to the roster of open-wheel heroes who drove across the yard of bricks and into the history books.
Read More
Sebastien Bourdais
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Bourdais Wins at Milwaukee
Sebastien Bourdais is "The Big Cheese" of Greater Milwaukee. At least that's what is written on the winner's trophy he lifted in Victory Circle following the 113th Indy car race at The Milwaukee Mile on Sunday.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,006
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 Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Red is a pretty popular color car.. Can you think of your favorite red cars to race at IMS?? http://t.co/bPqXqeemJg http://t.co/dKC1dW6KSx
about 5 hours ago