Indy 500 Qualifying Order Fast Friday melted into Frantic Friday as teams’ preparations for Pole Day qualifications were periodically interrupted by light mid-afternoon moisture at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Still, 36 car/driver combinations registered 1,308 laps and there are two sessions preceding the 11 a.m.-4 p.m. first segment of four-lap qualifications May 22 to fine-tune aerodynamic setups.
A.J. Foyt IV in the No. 41 ABC Supply car for A.J. Foyt Racing and Paul Tracy, driving the No. 15 GEICO-KV Racing Technology car, drew the lowest numbers for the qualifying order.
For spectators and IZOD IndyCar Series participants alike, enhancements to the qualifying format will translate to on-track drama and lead to several risk vs. reward scenarios.
The top 24 spots in the 33-car starting field will be filled through traditional four-lap attempts. The times of the top nine cars based on time from Segment 1 will advance to Segment 2 for a 90-minute shootout for the PEAK Performance Pole Award presented by AutoZone and bonus points that could impact the season-long driver championship race. They’ll be starting from scratch, though, as they’re required to make another qualifying attempt (and optional subsequent attempts as time allows) to secure a spot in the first three rows.
Enticements include a $175,000 payout to the pole winner along with significant paydays for the other front-row starters, championship bonus points and, of course, the No. 1 position for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on May 30.
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