IndyCar revamps Indianapolis 500 qualifying schedule for 2019

IndyCar has overhauled Indianapolis 500 qualifying weekend so that both the front and back of the grid are decided on the Sunday

IndyCar revamps Indianapolis 500 qualifying schedule for 2019

Last year 'bumping' took place on the Saturday, with the 33 fastest qualifiers going through to a second session on Sunday that decided the grid and those who did not make the cut on day one eliminated. The nine fastest from Saturday took part in the 'Fast Nine' pole shootout while the rest settled positions 10-33 on Sunday.

For 2019, following a 90 minute practice session starting at 8am on Saturday May 18, all entrants - expected to be 36-37 this year - will take part in qualifying, with the order of their first runs defined by the traditional draw held on the Friday night.

Once everyone has completed their guaranteed single four-lap run, the track will be open for more attempts until 5.50pm, weather and time permitting.

The order at the end of that session will decide who will take part in the Fast Nine shootout on Sunday, and will also define the order of positions 10 through 30 - with those competitors not re-qualifying on day two.

On Sunday morning, there will be a 30-minute practice session for the nine cars competing for pole, followed by a 30-minute practice for the expected six or seven cars vying for one of the three slots on the back row of the grid.

At 12.15pm, Last Row Qualifying will begin, order set by the original Friday night draw, with just one attempt allowed per car.

At 1.15pm, the Fast Nine shootout for pole commences, with cars running in the order of the Saturday times, slowest to fastest, and again just one run is permitted per entrant.

An hour after that, at 3.15pm, the track will re-open for a 2hr45min practice session for all 33 qualified cars. There will be a further practice for these 33 on Monday May 20, from 12 until 2pm.

"With this schedule, fans will get a phenomenal weekend of action," said IndyCar president Jay Frye, "with two days of qualifying, bumping, the run for the pole and this incredible practice that effectively is the race before the race."

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