IndyCar considers Indianapolis 500 points system change

IndyCar is considering an overhaul of the qualifying points system at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar considers Indianapolis 500 points system change

At present all 33 Indy 500 qualifiers earn points, starting with 42 for the polesitter.

That compares to the usual single point for pole at other races.

It also means Indy qualifying positions are worth comparable amounts to race results elsewhere - with for instance second on the grid at Indy getting 40 points and finishing second in anything other than the double-points races worth 40.

That discrepancy is something IndyCar's president of competition and operations Jay Frye admits he is not happy with.

"With qualifying points so high, and then double-points in the race, you're offering two-and-a-half times our regular points," he told Autosport.

"I don't think Indy needs that.

"So there's a time and a place for evaluating different options, and that's what's going on right now. It's a work in progress."

The Indy 500 scoring double points has grudgingly been accepted by drivers over the years, but IndyCar faces regular criticism for artificially keeping the championship alive by offering double points in the season finale as well as for the extreme points distribution in Indy qualifying.

Frye implied there are also advocates for maintaining the current system.

It's a polarising topic, I must say," he added.

"I have a personal opinion on it and I'm kind of old school.

"I know there are a lot of elements that go into it, and I understand the opposing arguments.

"I'm working diligently to decide how to do it.

"I've come up with a few different ideas the past couple of years for qualifying and people present X, Y or Z scenarios as counter-arguments."

Shortlist of contenders to replace Barnhart

Frye said IndyCar is talking to "six or seven" candidates to replace Brian Barnhart as race director.

Barnhart announced a fortnight ago that he was leaving his role with the series to become president of new team Harding Racing.

"Brian was presented a phenomenal opportunity and he handled it in exactly the right way," said Frye.

"We'd known about this for a little while and we went through the process with him and talked a lot. I'm sure the dilemma caused him a lot of sleepless nights.

"But this was an opportunity that was really good for Brian and we 100% supported his decision.

"He's had a 24-year run within IndyCar, and that's a long time in professional sports, so we sure appreciate all he's done.

"We have a handful of people who we're talking to - some of them will be familiar to you, some will be not so well known."

IMSA race director Beaux Barfield, who held the same position at IndyCar between Barnhart's demotion from the role at the end of 2011 and his return as part of a new panel system for '15, is among those linked to the vacancy.

Next year's IMSA and IndyCar calendars feature only one clash.

shares
comments
Leading single-seater squad Carlin announces IndyCar move for 2018

Previous article

Leading single-seater squad Carlin announces IndyCar move for 2018

Next article

Carlin: IndyCar completes ladder as F1 costs 'ridiculous'

Carlin: IndyCar completes ladder as F1 costs 'ridiculous'
Load comments
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021