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IndyCar Indianapolis 500

Indy 500: How the two-day qualifying system works in 2024

The qualifying format for the Indianapolis 500 is one of the most complicated in all of motorsport, so here’s how it works this weekend for the 2024 edition.

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Qualifying commences at 11am ET (4pm BST) on Saturday 18 May. Each car is given a single, four-lap run to set an average speed – and goes in an order selected by random draw on Friday night (listed at the bottom of this story).

When every car in the qualifying order for Saturday has had at least one chance to qualify, teams may choose from two lanes at the end of the pits for subsequent attempts.

Cars in the Priority Lane (Lane 1) must withdraw their qualified time but get priority access to the track ahead of Lane 2. That second lane is for cars that have already qualified and want to try to improve their position but choose not to risk forfeiting the speed average they have already set.

The fastest 12 drivers will progress to contest the front four rows of three. The four drivers who will squabble over the three slots on the last row will also have been defined.

On Sunday 19 May, from midday (5pm BST) the dozen drivers still in the fight for pole will get a one-hour practice session, and this will be immediately followed by an hour’s practice for the desperate quartet due to battle over the last row.

Felix Rosenqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Felix Rosenqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Sunday's Indy 500 qualifying format

From 3:05pm local time (8:05pm BST) comes Top 12 qualifying, in which positions seventh through 12th will be determined.

Their running order is based on Saturday times, slowest to fastest, and each car is guaranteed one attempt. The quickest of the six then advance to the Firestone Fast Six shootout.

At 4:15pm local time (9:15pm BST), the four Last Chance Qualifiers will compete for positions 31-33 – there are 34 entries for this year’s race, so someone is going home on Sunday night.

The car’s most recent qualification speed will remain eligible for the starting line-up until the time is withdrawn or qualifications end.

At 5:25pm local time (10:25pm BST) comes the Firestone Fast Six shootout for pole position in the 108th running of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’.

Positions 1-6 will be determined and the running order is based on times from top 12 qualifying, slowest to fastest. Each car is guaranteed one attempt.

The top 12 drivers on the starting grid will receive IndyCar Series points, with the pole winner earning 12, the second fastest 11, down to one point for the 12th-placed starter.

Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Saturday qualifying order

1 Kyle Kirkwood - #27 Andretti Global Honda

2 Scott McLaughlin -#3 Team Penske Chevrolet

3 Kyffin Simpson - #4 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

4 Rinus VeeKay - #21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

5 Romain Grosjean - #77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet

6 Kyle Larson - #17 McLaren-Hendrick Chevrolet

7 Agustin Canapino - #78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet

8 Callum Ilott - #6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

9 Will Power - #12 Team Penske Chevrolet

10 Josef Newgarden - #2 Team Penske Chevrolet

11 Marcus Armstrong - #11 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

12 Nolan Siegel - #18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda

13 Santino Ferrucci - #14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet

14 Christian Lundgaard - #45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

15 Marcus Ericsson - #28 Andretti Global Honda

16 Linus Lundqvist - #8 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

17 Marco Andretti - #98 Andretti Herta with Marco and Curb-Agajanian Honda

18 Ed Carpenter - #20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

19 Katherine Legge - #51 Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda

20 Conor Daly - #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

21 Pietro Fittipaldi - #30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

22 Tom Blomqvist - #66 Meyer Shank Racing Honda

23 Pato O'Ward - #5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

24 Felix Rosenqvist - #60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda

25 Alex Palou - #10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

26 Takuma Sato - #75 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

27 Scott Dixon - #9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

28 Sting Ray Robb - #41 A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet

29 Colton Herta - #26 Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian Honda

30 Ryan Hunter-Reay - #23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

31 Christian Rasmussen - #33 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

32 Graham Rahal - #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

33 Helio Castroneves - #06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda

34 Alexander Rossi - #7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

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