Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
IndyCar Indianapolis 500

Indy 500: Schedule and how to watch the IndyCar event in 2024

The Indianapolis 500 is finally here and will host round five of the 2024 IndyCar season, so this is how and when you can watch all of the action.

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

The world-famous Indy 500 is often billed as ‘the greatest spectacle in racing’ with its banked ovals, historic traditions and wheel-to-wheel battles capturing the attention of fans across the globe. 

It dates back to 1911 when Ray Harroun won by just 1.43 seconds at the brickyard, yet that is not even the closest finish in the event’s history, as Al Unser Jr claimed victory by 0.043s in 1992. 

Unser Jr then celebrated his victory by drinking milk in the winner's circle, which is one of many traditions held by the Indy 500 - a race that forms part of the elusive motorsport triple crown.

But fast-forward to the present day and Josef Newgarden is the defending champion after overtaking Marcus Ericsson during a controversial one-lap shootout to the end following a late red flag in 2023. 

However, Newgarden heads into the 108th running of the race in poor form as the Team Penske driver is 17th in the championship, with just one points finish this year. 

Instead, Newgarden’s team-mate Will Power is currently Penske’s leading driver as he sits second in the standings after three podiums in 2024. 

But it is the reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou who currently leads the way, as his victory at the recent Indy Grand Prix put him 12 points clear at the top. 

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

Yet the Indy 500 does not always bode well for the favourite or the most in-form driver, because it is a round like no other.

Too many twists and turns occur throughout meaning it’s never quite obvious until the final lap who will win the race. And considering eight past winners have entered this year’s Indy 500, that shows how difficult it is to win the race twice - so will there be another first-time victor? 

When is the 2024 Indy 500?

  • Date: Sunday 26 May
  • Start time: 5:45pm BST/12:45pm local time 

The Indy 500 starts on Sunday 26 May at 5:45pm in the United Kingdom and 12:45pm local time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But, a lot of preparation goes into the prestigious race as the first session for this year’s Indy 500 is on Tuesday 14 May.

After first practice is another eight practice sessions over the following 10 days including qualifying, which is a week before the race on Sunday 19 May at 8pm BST and 3pm local time.

Date

Session

Session time

Tuesday 14 May

Practice 1

2-4pm BST/9-11am local time

Tuesday 14 May

Practice 2

6-11pm BST/1-6pm local time

Wednesday 15 May

Practice 3

5-11pm BST/12-6pm local time

Thursday 16 May

Practice 4

5-11pm BST/12-6pm local time

Friday 17 May

Practice 5

5-11pm BST/12-6pm local time

Friday 17 May/Saturday 18 May

Qualifying draw

11:15pm-12am BST/6:15-7pm local time

Saturday 18 May

Practice 6

1:30-2:30pm BST/8:30-9:30am local time

Saturday 18 May

Full field Qualifying

4-10:50pm BST/11am-5:50pm local time

Sunday 19 May

Practice 7

5-7pm BST/12-2pm local time

Sunday 19 May

Top 12, Last Chance and Fast Six Qualifying 

8-11pm BST/3-6pm local time

Monday 20 May

Practice 8

6-8pm BST/1-3pm local time

Friday 24 May

Final Practice on Carb Day

4-6pm BST/11am-1pm local time

Sunday 26 May

Indy 500

5:45pm BST/12:45pm local time

What is the Month of May for the Indy 500?

The Indy 500 consists of many traditions - whether it is the winner receiving the Borg-Warner Trophy, the race happening on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, or the singing of ‘Back Home Again in Indiana’. But the Month of May is another tradition of the Indy 500.

The Month of May is a tradition which dates back to that first race in 1911 and refers to the weeks leading up to the Indy 500 when practice, qualifying and other events like the Indy GP - held since 2014 - take place. Preparation for the Indy 500 starts early because it is such a big event, so teams need as much track time as possible - especially when there are several one-off entries. 

Qualifying is another reason behind the event holding nine practice sessions instead of two like a typical IndyCar race weekend. That’s because qualifying for the Indy 500 is split across two days where cars use a completely different setup for it than they do in the race. 

It begins with full-field qualifying, where each car is given a four-lap run to set an average speed and determine spots 13 to 30 on the starting grid. This means the pole shootout happens on day two of qualifying, as well as the battle to determine the bottom three positions which occupy the final row. 

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Chris duMond / Motorsport Images

So, day two starts with Top 12 qualifying where the six quickest drivers progress to the Fast Six Shootout for pole. In between both sessions, the four Last Chance Qualifiers will compete for positions 31 to 33 meaning one driver will not qualify for the race. 

As a lot goes into qualifying, teams will focus on its setup for it in the practice sessions leading up to that weekend before switching to practising race trim the following week ahead of the Indy 500. 

How can I watch the 2024 Indy 500?

The Indy 500 is available via Sky Sports F1 for those in the UK and Ireland, however NBC has been the event’s official broadcast home since 2019 meaning Sky will run NBC’s coverage.

Some of the sessions also collide with the Emilia Romagna GP meaning Sky will not broadcast practices six and seven. Sky will also broadcast just 15 minutes of build-up to the race because it is on the same day as the Monaco GP.

Date

Session

Channel

Coverage from

Tuesday 14 May

Practice 1

Sky Sports F1

9:15am BST

Tuesday 14 May

Practice 2

Sky Sports F1

6pm BST

Wednesday 15 May

Practice 3

Sky Sports F1

5pm BST

Thursday 16 May

Practice 4

Sky Sports F1

5pm BST

Friday 17 May

Practice 5

Sky Sports F1

6:15pm BST

Saturday 18 May

Full field Qualifying

Sky Sports F1

5:30pm BST

Sunday 19 May

Top 12, Last Chance and Fast Six Qualifying 

Sky Sports F1

8pm BST

Monday 20 May

Practice 8

Sky Sports F1

6pm BST

Friday 24 May

Final Practice on Carb Day

Sky Sports F1

6:30pm BST

Sunday 26 May

Indy 500

Sky Sports F1

5:30pm BST

Monday 27 May

Indy 500 victory celebration

Sky Sports F1

8:30pm ET

Where can I watch highlights for the 2024 Indy 500?

Last year the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel uploaded a 25-minute highlights package soon after the Indy 500 had finished, as well as publishing shorter videos for behind-the-scenes celebrations and individual moments from the race. The channel also uploaded highlights of all the preceding sessions from practice one to qualifying to Carb Day.

A similar format was used by the official IndyCar YouTube channel, so follow the various platforms for NBC and the championship to watch highlights as soon as they drop. 

What type of track is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway uses its oval track for the Indy 500, which is a 2.5-mile layout with four designated corners that have a 9.2-degree banking. Although it consists almost entirely of asphalt, the start-finish line is still made up of brick as that was the track’s original surface back in 1909 - hence the venue’s nickname.

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet, start

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet, start

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Drivers will tackle 500 miles of the famous speedway, which equates to 200 laps and it approximately takes three hours to complete. 

The oval circuit is just one of six layouts that have been used throughout the years across different championships. This includes the road course for the Indy GP, which is a 2.439-mile layout using much of the venue’s infield to consist of 14 corners featuring small parts of the oval - Formula 1 used a similar version when it last visited in 2007.  

2024 Indy 500 entry list 

 

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Juncos Hollinger Racing reveals special liveries for the Indy 500
Next article Newgarden “missing” Cindric at Indy, Porsche sportscar boss replaces him

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe