Day one of Indy 500 qualifying is set to begin today from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at noon ET. Indy 500 qualifying will span over two days and finish with the Fast Nine Shootout tomorrow at 3:00 PM ET.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of Indy 500 qualifying.
Indy 500 Qualifying: Weekend Schedule
Saturday, May 22
Full Field Qualifying: 12:00 – 6:00 PM ET on Peacock, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET on NBC, 3:00 – 6:00 PM ET on NBC Sports Network
Sunday, May 23
Last Chance Qualifying: 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET on NBC Sports Network
Fast Nine Shootout: 2:00 – 4:30 PM ET on NBC
Indy 500 Qualifying: Saturday Format
Thirty-five drivers will attempt to qualify on Saturday, but only positions 10 through 30 will be filled. Each driver will get four laps on the track to determine their position in the field.
The format on Saturday sets up an exciting day for Sunday. After today’s Indy 500 qualifying finishes, positions 10 through 30 will be locked. Drivers who land in one of these spots will have no chance to move up on Sunday.
They will only practice on day two of Indy 500 qualifying. The top nine and bottom five spots will have to head back out to the track for 16 more corners of meaningful turns on Sunday.
Notes for Saturday
On Saturday, all drivers are guaranteed one four-lap qualifying attempt. After all the attempts are finished, drivers can elect to make a second qualifying run. Although, the team must choose between the fast lane and the normal lane.
Drivers in the normal lane do not have to give up their established time. Drivers in the fast lane must withdraw their established time, but they have priority to get out on the track. The fast lane is usually for drivers on the bubble, but any person can make this risky decision.
Cars must add a minimum of three gallons of fuel from the qualifications tank in pit lane. Race officials examine this because lighter cars can travel faster around the track.
Indy 500 Qualifying: Sunday Format
On Sunday, Indy 500 qualifying will start to get very interesting. This day has been given the nickname “Bump Day” because there will be two unhappy drivers at the end of the first session. Last chance qualifying is set from 1:15 to 2:30 PM ET.
Each driver is guaranteed four laps. However, they can continue making qualifying attempts until the time expires. The driver in 31st may get an extra attempt over the 35th car, making every lap of trials on Saturday critical.
The Fast Nine Shootout will occur after Last Chance Qualifying, and this will determine the pole winner. All drivers are guaranteed one attempt in the Fast Nine Shootout.
Notes for Sunday
In the Fast Nine Shootout, drivers will receive one pair of Firestone tires for pre-qualifying practice and then one for their official attempt of the day. Both sets must be returned to Firestone at the end of the session.
The pole winner will receive $100,000. Marco Andretti won the 2020 Indianapolis 500 NTT Pole Award. On Fast Friday, Scott Dixon has the fastest lap of practice this week at 233.302 mph.
Indy 500 Qualifying Order
First Driver: #9 Scott Dixon
2. #98 Marco Andretti
3. #28 Ryan Hunter‐Reay
4. #06 Helio Castroneves
5. #18 Ed Jones
6. #29 James Hinchcliffe
7. #25 Stefan Wilson
8. #48 Tony Kanaan
9. #2 Josef Newgarden
10. #21 Rinus VeeKay
11. #3 Scott McLaughlin
12. #30 Takuma Sato
13. #45 Santino Ferrucci
14. #24 Sage Karam
15. #51 Pietro Fittipaldi
16. #86 Juan Pablo Montoya
17. #1 JR Hildebrand
18. #12 Will Power
19. #20 Ed Carpenter
20. #5 Pato O’Ward
21. #7 Felix Rosenqvist
22. #59 Max Chilton
23. #4 Dalton Kellett
24. #47 Conor Daly
25. #15 Graham Rahal
26. #60 Jack Harvey
27. #75 RC Enerson
28. #10 Alex Palou
29. #22 Simon Pagenaud
30. #26 Colton Herta
31. #27 Alexander Rossi
32. #8 Marcus Ericsson
33. #16 Simona De Silvestro
34. #11 Charlie Kimball
35. #14 Sebastien Bourdais
Tanner Kern is a writer for Knup Sports and the Sports 2.0 Network. He is the host of Between the Lines, the official show of Baseball Spotlight, and the main contributor for the website. Connect with Tanner on IG @tannerkern and Twitter @tannerkern_.