by Mary Champion
Speedway, Ind. – A new qualifying procedure will be used on May 21 and 22 to determine the starting positions for the 100th Indianapolis 500 on May 29.
The entire field will draw for a place in the qualifying order on Friday to determine their place in Saturday’s qualifying line.
The draw guarantees that all cars will have at least one attempt to qualify on May 21, regardless of the weather, provided the line is not broken.
After all cars have had an opportunity to qualify in the initial line, two lines will be formed: the Fast Lane and Lane 2.
The Fast Lane is the priority line is for cars that have not qualified or have withdrawn previous qualifying times. The withdrawal of the previous qualifying time takes effect when the car reaches the end of the line.
Lane 2 is for cars that have posted a qualifying time, do not wish to withdraw it, but wish to qualify again. Cars in this lane may make an attempt once there is a break in the Fast Lane. If a car making an attempt from this lane does not improve its qualifying time, the original qualifying time remains as its official attempt.
At 5:50 p.m., when qualifying time expires on Saturday, the Fast Nine will be separated from the rest of the field (positions 10-33.)
On Sunday, May 22, all qualifying times from Saturday, May 21, will be erased and all entries must make another four-lap qualifying attempt to determine their final starting position in the field.
Group One will run from 2:45 to 4:45 p.m. and will comprise the cars that qualified in positions 10 – 33 on Saturday.
Each car will get one attempt, starting with the 33rd qualifier and working through the line up to Saturday’s 10th qualifier.
Sunday’s second session will be the Fast Nine shootout from 5:00 to 5:45 p.m. Each of the Fast Nine, from slowest to fastest, based on Saturday times, will make one qualifying attempt to determine their starting position in the top three rows, and the Pole Position for the race.