IndyCar has revised the qualifying format for the Indianapolis 500, which should produce plenty of drama and intrigue on Sunday. The action on Saturday will consist of every entry making a qualifying run, with positions 10-30 locked in.
Sunday will then feature two different “shootout” events. The Last Row Shootout will allow the remaining cars to make one attempt at getting one of the final three positions. After that, the Fast Nine Shootout will run to determine the pole sitter for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500. The final few hours on Sunday will then be an open practice for the 33 qualified cars. The full press release from today is below, including dates and times for the weekend.
[NTT IndyCar Series Press Release]
Bumping to secure locked-in grid positions on both qualifying days, the thrilling Fast Nine Shootout for the pole position and an opportunity to preview the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge with a full-field practice await NTT IndyCar Series fans May 18-19 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The action-packed format for Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying weekend was announced today by IndyCar. The Indianapolis 500 runs Sunday, May 26 on the iconic 2.5-mile oval.
Highlights of the qualifying weekend are:
- The drama on Saturday, May 18 will be intense with competitors battling for one of the 30 locked-in starting positions and a berth in the Fast Nine Shootout the following day. Each entry is guaranteed one attempt and multiple four-lap runs may be made as time permits. Cars in positions 10 through 30 at the end of first-day qualifying on May 18 are locked into those starting spots for the race and will not re-qualify the next day.
- NBC’s coverage on Sunday, May 19 (12-3 PM) will feature two highly competitive battles – for the last three starting positions in the field of 33 and the pole-deciding Fast Nine Shootout to determine the starting order of the first three rows.
- Sunday’s action will be capped by a practice of nearly three hours that should serve as a preview of the Indianapolis 500. Cars will be trimmed in race setup and run in groups. NBCSN will provide coverage (3-6 PM).
“With this schedule, fans will get a phenomenal weekend of action, with two days of qualifying, bumping, the run for the pole and this incredible practice that effectively is the race before the race – all in a two-day span,” IndyCar President Jay Frye said.
The qualifying weekend schedule is as follows:
Saturday, May 18 (all times ET):
- 8-9:30 AM: Practice
- 11 AM-5:50 PM: Qualifying (order based on draw, top 30 locked in field at end of day)
Sunday, May 19:
- 10:15-10:45 AM: Fast Nine Shootout practice 10:45-11:15 AM: Last Row Shootout practice
- 12:15-1:15 PM: Last Row Shootout qualifying (order based on original draw, one attempt per car)
- 1:15-2:15 PM: Fast Nine Shootout qualifying (order based on Saturday times, one attempt per car)
- 3:15-6 PM: Open practice, all 33 qualified cars
The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season totals 17 races and opens with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 10 (12:30 PM ET, NBCSN).