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Indianapolis 500 2014 Qualifying Format Revealed

Mar 7, 2014, 10:37 AM EDT

Indianapolis 500 Champions Portrait Session Getty Images

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has revealed the qualifying format for this year’s Indianapolis 500, which will be spread over two days from May 17-18.

Essentially, this confirms the ruminations that every car will need to make at least two qualifying attempts – one to make the race, and one to set the starting position order.

On Saturday, May 17, all entries will be guaranteed at least one qualifying attempt to fill the field of 33 cars. Multiple attempts can happen as well without withdrawing a time.

The fastest nine qualifiers on Saturday will advance to Sunday’s Fast 9 Shootout.

On Sunday, those cars locked into spots 10-33 will determine their starting order with another qualifying attempt. Speeds from Saturday will be tossed out. Again, each entry will be guaranteed at least one attempt.

Once that concludes, the Fast 9 qualifiers will have a shot to make another four-lap qualifying attempt, and that will set the starting grid.

Here’s a visual graphic from IMS that breaks this all down. And here’s the times from the IndyCar release:

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)

Further information will follow after a teleconference with Mark Miles (Hulman & Co. CEO) and Derrick Walker (IndyCar president of competition/operations).

  1. bmcgrath2 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    I like it!

  2. indycarseries500 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    It’s not terrible, but you need quite a bit more than 33 to make this one work.

    • testover6370 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      I think this works well when you’re barely over 33, as it has “bump day” action while sort of masking the lack of drama. And it highlights the real important stuff on the second day, which is now pole day.

      If/when entries start getting significantly above 33 and there is real legitimate drama around bumping, I think the old traditional format would be better.

  3. manik56 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    It is way more than is needed, but it doesnt hurt anything or anyone…unless someone walls it on the second attempt.

  4. zacfromca - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Can we at least call Saturday Bump Day and Sunday Pole Day for some semblance of tradition!? Saturday will have bumping to get into the Fast Nine and for the starting 33. Sunday’s second session is for Pole. Why not!?

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