More action, increased drama given to both Indianapolis 500 qualifying days
INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019) – Bumping to secure locked-in grid positions on both qualifying days, the thrilling Fast Nine Shootout for the pole position and an opportunity to preview the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge with a full-field practice await NTT IndyCar Series fans May 18-19 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The action-packed format for Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying weekend was announced today by INDYCAR. The Indianapolis 500 runs Sunday, May 26 on the iconic 2.5-mile oval.
Highlights of the qualifying weekend are:
The drama on Saturday, May 18 will be intense with competitors battling for one of the 30 locked-in starting positions and a berth in the Fast Nine Shootout the following day. Each entry is guaranteed one attempt and multiple four-lap runs may be made as time permits. Cars in positions 10 through 30 at the end of first-day qualifying on May 18 are locked into those starting spots for the race and will not re-qualify the next day.
NBC’s coverage on Sunday, May 19 (12-3 p.m.) will feature two highly competitive battles – for the last three starting positions in the field of 33 and the pole-deciding Fast Nine Shootout to determine the starting order of the first three rows.
Sunday’s action will be capped by a practice of nearly three hours that should serve as a preview of the Indianapolis 500. Cars will be trimmed in race setup and running in groups. NBCSN will provide the coverage (3-6 p.m.).
“With this schedule, fans will get a phenomenal weekend of action, with two days of qualifying, bumping, the run for the pole and this incredible practice that effectively is the race before the race – all in a two-day span,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said.
The qualifying weekend schedule is as follows:
Saturday, May 18 (all times ET):
8-9:30 a.m.: Practice
11 a.m.-5:50 p.m.: Qualifying (order based on draw, top 30 locked in field at end of day)
Sunday, May 19:
10:15-10:45 a.m.: Fast Nine Shootout practice 10:45-11:15 a.m.: Last Row Shootout practice
12:15-1:15 p.m.: Last Row Shootout qualifying (order based on original draw, one attempt per car)
1:15-2:15 p.m.: Fast Nine Shootout qualifying (order based on Saturday times, slowest to fastest, one attempt per car)
3:15-6 p.m.: Open practice, all 33 qualified cars
The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season totals 17 races and opens with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 10 (12:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).