Indy 500 Qualifying Format

Let's hope not too many cars come back on the wrecker
Let's hope not too many cars come back on the wrecker

A look at the convoluted qualifying format for the Indy 500. It's so confusing to the fans they had to create this graphic.

No matter what gimmick they try, it does not matter, the grandstands will still be largely empty.

With rain in the forecast and high winds on Sunday, IndyCar will be lucky to get everyone qualified, and the front 3 rows might be slower than the last row. Of course we don't know how many drivers will plaster the wall in the 20 mph winds. Would have been nice to get everyone qualified today (great weather, but hot) and be done with it.

Regarding Positions 1-9

8.4.13.2.5.4 – Each of the nine (9) Cars advancing is provided one (1) Guaranteed Attempt, provided the Car is properly timed and presented. If each Car does not receive its Guaranteed Attempt, the times from Saturday will act as the official Qualifications time.

What this means: Today’s Fast Nine qualifiers might end up being the 500’s first nine starters if Sunday is rained out, so the pole might well be decided today.

Regarding 10-30

8.4.13.1.7.2 – Positions ten (10) through thirty (30) will secure their Starting Positions (Saturday).

What this means: Rain or no rain Sunday, cars qualifying in positions 10 through 30 are set and will sleep easier tonight.

Regarding Positions 31-33

8.4.13.2.4.5 – Each of the Last Chance Cars is provided one (1) Guaranteed Attempt, provided the Car is properly and timely presented. If all Last Chance Cars do not receive a Guaranteed Attempt, INDYCAR shall determine the revised Qualifications procedure. This may include without limitation all Last Chance Cars qualifying on the next available day.

What this means: If Sunday is rained out, only the fastest 30 cars will be locked in the field today. INDYCAR will hold the Last Row Shootout on the next available day.

Finally, today’s qualifying session ends at 5:50 p.m.

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