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INDY 500

Qualifying Rules
2019 -  Present
  • The grid consists of 11 rows, 3 cars wide.

  • There are two days of qualifying.  (Qualifying is also known as time trials.)

  • Each driver must put together four good laps around the track (10 miles) and his time is
          used to determine his starting position in the race.

  • The drivers have the track to themselves during their qualifying attempts.

  • A blind draw is held the day before qualifying to decide what order the drivers will qualify in.

  • If drivers do not want to qualify during a period due to conditions, the track will open for practice.

  • Each car is permitted two warm-up laps prior to the timed qualification laps.
           IndyCar Series officials may permit three warm-up laps if they deem it necessary.
1st Day of Qualifying - Saturday
  • The 30-fastest race cars qualify for the race and positions 10-30 for the race are set.

  • Any slower cars outside the 30 fastest will compete tomorrow for a spot on the last row.

  • The 9-fastest cars earn the right to compete in the "Shootout" tomorrow.
2nd Day of Qualifying - Sunday
  • Each unqualified car will get one chance to qualify for a position on the last row.  Bumping may occur.
          Beginning in 2020, the Last Row Shootout will be extended to 75 minutes and multiple attempts per car will be allowed.

  • FAST NINE SHOOTOUT - the fastest nine drivers from Saturday will make one four-lap attempt to determine the pole
          winner and top three rows.
Practice sessions before time trials commence are scheduled both days.

Beginning in 2018 - Driver and
entrant points will be awarded to the top nine qualifiers for the race.
The pole winner earns nine points and the second-fastest qualifier eight points, etc.
Qualifying Procedures
Throughout the years the race has used a number of qualifying procedures. The current four-lap (ten-mile) qualifying distance was
first introduced in 1920, and has been used every year since 1939.

Drivers line up by speed rank in the order of the day they qualified. For several decades, four days of time trials were scheduled:
the Saturday & Sunday two weeks before the race, and the Saturday & Sunday one week before the race. From 1998—2000 and
from 2010—2013, two days of qualifying, the Saturday and Sunday one week before the race, are scheduled for qualifications.
The fastest qualifier on the first day of time trials (nicknamed "Pole day") wins the highly coveted pole position.

Drivers who qualify on the second day of time trials (nicknamed "Bump day") line up behind the first-day qualifiers - even if their
speeds are faster than those from the first day. Once the field is filled to 33, the slowest car, regardless of the day it qualified, is
"on the bubble." If another car qualifies faster, he/she will bump the slowest driver out of the field.

From 2014-2018:  All cars qualify on the first day of qualifying, but no starting positions are set.  Any cars slower than the fastest
33 cars are now out of contention -  so, Bumping is on the firrst day.  On the 2nd day of qualifying, the slowest 24 drivers re-qualify
to determine starting order for positions 10-33.  Then the fastest nine drivers re-qualify to determine pole position and the starting
order for the first three rows.  In 2018, driver and
entrant points was awarded to the top nine qualifiers for the race. The pole
winner earns nine points and the second-fastest qualifier eight points, etc.

From 2010-2013, the qualifications have been held over two days, and include a special "shootout" session for the pole position.
On Pole day, positions 1-24 are open for qualifying. At the end of the day the top nine drivers return to the track for a 90-minute
"shootout" competition to re-qualify for the top nine spots - including the pole position.
On Bump day, positions 25-33 are filled. Once the field is filled to 33 cars, bumping commences. The slowest car in the field,
regardless of the day it qualified, is "on the bubble."

On each qualifying day, the session will begin at Noon local time. Each car will in a predetermined random order make their first
qualifying attempt. (Teams have the option of passing on this first attempt and making their first attempt later in the day, however
track conditions will get progressively worse throughout the day, meaning teams are better off making their first attempt as early as
possible in the day.) Teams will then have until 4:00 PM local time on Pole Day and 6:00 PM local time on Bump Day/During the
Fast 9 Shootout to make up to two additional attempts, but if they choose to do so they forfeit their previous time. (Cars need only
take the track by 4:00 PM/6:00 PM for their run.)

For each attempt, cars get one out-lap followed by one warm-up lap. At that time, a member of the team (usually the team owner)
must wave a green flag, signaling an attempt, or else the car will be waived off. The attempt can be waived off during any of the
four laps by the team, driver, or IndyCar. (The series will waive off the run if it is obvious the run will not be fast enough to qualify
and it is getting late in the day.) If an attempt is waived off after the run starts, the attempt counts towards the 3-attempt limit & the
previous time is still forfeited.

In 1933, qualifying was changed from 4 laps to 10 laps.  It is changed back to 4 laps in 1939.
Current Qualifying Rules
2015 - Present
  • Qualifying is held on Saturday, the day before the race.

  • The grid is two cars wide.

  • Qualifying consists of three rounds.
For its first running in 1994, the race was scheduled for a Saturday
afternoon timeslot, at 12:15 pm EST (1:15 pm EDT). Since the race
was not being held on a holiday weekend, track officials decided that
a built-in rain date was necessary. Scheduling the race for Saturday
allowed Sunday as a make-up date in case of rain. In 1994, practice
and pole qualifying was held Thursday. Practice, second round
qualifying, and "Happy Hour" final practice was scheduled for Friday.
In addition, during the first year, a special "pacing" practice was held
where the field followed behind the pace car to measure pit road

Starting in 1995, an additional practice session was scheduled for
Wednesday afternoon. Pole qualifying was still held Thursday, and
second round qualifying was held Friday. This schedule continued
through 2000.

From 1998–2003, an IROC event was situated in the schedule. The
IROC race would be held the day before the Brickyard 400.

Starting in 2001, the race was moved to Sunday. In addition,
NASCAR eliminated second-round qualification. The schedule was
compressed so practice was held Friday, and the single pole
qualifying round was held Saturday. "Happy hour" final practice was
also held Saturday. This schedule differed from typical NASCAR
weekend schedules, which normally saw practice and pole
qualification on Fridays. Moving the pole qualification to Saturday
allowed for a potential larger audience, and also opened the schedule
up for the Kroger 200 held at nearby Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Starting in 2012, the Brickyard 400 became part of Super Weekend
at The Brickyard, consisting of three races over four days on both the
oval and the road course. The Nationwide Series left IRP and moved
to the Speedway for the Indiana 250. Grand Am utilizes the road
course on Friday for the Brickyard Grand Prix along with a shorter
Continental Sports Car Challenge Race beforehand. The current
schedule has all day Thursday for Grand Am practice & qualifying.
Friday morning features Sprint Cup & Nationwide practice, with the
sports car races held on Friday afternoon/evening. Saturday features
final practice for Sprint Cup cars followed by Qualifying for both the
Nationwide & Sprint Cup races, which is then followed by the
Nationwide race. The Brickyard 400 remains the only event on
Qualifying Rules
2012 - 2015
  • Qualifying is held on Saturday, the day before the race.

  • The grid is two bikes wide.

  • A Grand Prix event takes place over three days, with the first two of those for practice and
qualification for each class (Moto3, Moto2, MotoGP).

  • There are three 45-minute Free Practice sessions beginning on Friday.  the times set in those
sessions will count towards Qualifying, with the combined results determining whether a rider
will participate in Q1 or Q2.
Qualifying Rules
2014 - 2019
Current Qualifying Rules
2012 - Present
  • Round 1 - All cars run for twenty-five minutes.  The fastest 25 cars will move on to
round 2.  The rest of the cars will be sorted at the back of the grid by the times
from this round.

  • Round 2 -  run for ten minutes.  The fastest 12 cars move on to round 3.  The   
remaining 13 cars will be sorted in the middle of the grid by the times from this

  • Round 3 - The final qualifying round will be five minutes in duration and the fastest
single lap time will determine positions 1st through 12th in descending order.
Exactly the same as the Sprint Cup Qualifying listed above.
Dale Earnhardt Won the 1995 Brickyard 400
  • Q1 - Riders whose times are 11th place and below will run for 15 minutes.  The two fastest
      will advance to Q2.   The remaining riders will take grid positions 13 and above
      according to their placement in QP1.

  • Q2 -  The twelve fastest riders will run for 15 minutes to determine the starting order at the
       front of the grid.
  • Qualifying is held on Friday, the day before the race.

  • The grid is two cars wide.

  • A Grand Prix event takes place over three days, with the first two of those for practice and
qualification for each class (Moto3, Moto2, MotoGP).

  • Qualifying is broken down into three segments:
  • Segment 1 - The field is split in half and each half gets to run 10 minutes.  The fastest six
from each group moves on to Segment 2, while the remaining cars are assigned positions
13+. Group One drivers occupy the odd-numbered positions (13, 15, 17...) while Group Two
drivers occupy the even-numbered positions (14, 16, 18...) based on their fastest lap times
during the segment.

  • Segment 2 - Twelve cars get to run for 10 minutes.  The fastest six move on to Segment 3,
while the remaining six cars are ranked in positions 7-12 based on their fastest laps during
the segment.

  • Segment 3 - The six advancing cars receive 10 minutes of track time, with a guarantee of five   
minutes of green flag time. Each car receives one additional set of Firestone Firehawk tires
for use during this final segment. At the end of the session, the cars are ranked 1-6 based
on their fastest laps during the segment.
  • Cautions - If a car causes a red or full course yellow condition in any segment or otherwise
    interferes with qualifications as determined by the Race Direetor, the car’s best two timed laps
    of the segment will be disallowed. An interfering car will not be allowed to advance to the next
    segment. If a car causes two red or full course yellow conditions in any segment, all segment
    times shall be voided and the car shall not be permitted to participate in the remainder of

  • Doubleheader Weekends – Qualifying for Race 2 of a doubleheader weekend shall consist
of one 30-minute qualifying session for all cars of which 10 minutes is guaranteed Green
Condition time. The fastest time from either session will be awarded the pole position, with
the fastest time from the session that did not receive the pole being awarded the outside front
row position. This qualification session will also serve as the warmup for Race 1.
2014 Qualifying Rules
New knockout format is being utilized to minimize the role drafting plays in setting the lineup.
The format is as follows:

Two rounds of qualifying, with the top-12 posted lap speeds advancing to the second round

Race vehicles taking one, timed lap in each round of qualifying

Each race vehicle will be released in a predetermined timed interval as determined by NASCAR, with the sanctioning body
reserving the right to have more than one vehicle engaging in qualifying runs at the same time

Qualifying order for the first round will be determined by a random draw; final round qualifying order is determined by slowest to
fastest speeds from the first round

A 10-minute break will occur between the first qualifying round and the final round

Upon completion of the first qualifying round, the field will be set with positions 13 and beyond determined from first round
qualifying speed

The 12 fastest vehicles from the first round will have their speeds reset for the final round with starting positions 1-12
determined by the fastest laps in the final round

NASCAR will hold race vehicles following each qualifying lap; vehicles advancing to the final round will be allowed to adjust
tape and utilize a cool-down unit during the 10-minute break only.
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