Jay Frye has Officially Ruined Indy 500 Qualifications Format

We all know speed is key at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. Unfortunately, Indycar President, Jay Frye has ruined the qualification process. It’s convoluted and unnecessarily quick. Why do we need all of qualifications to take place the weekend before the race? If you aren’t familiar here is an explanation of the current format:

The Indy 500 qualifying process begins Saturday, May 18 with a qualifying session that begins at 11 a.m. ET and runs through 5:50 p.m. ET. All 36 cars that have entered to qualify for the Indy 500 will be guaranteed at least one qualifying attempt, each of which is four laps, and multiple four-lap runs are allowed as time permits. This qualifying sessions will set positions 10-30 in the 33-car field for the Indy 500. The cars that qualify in these spots will be locked into place and will not partake in the qualifying sessions Sunday.

On Sunday, May 19, last row qualifying will take place at noon ET and be shown live on NBC. This session will set positions 31-33 for the Indy 500. Then, at 1:15 p.m. ET, Fast 9 qualifying, also scheduled to be shown live on NBC, will set the first three rows, including the pole, for the Indy 500.

As I write this on Sunday afternoon from my gazebo in an Indianapolis suburb it is raining, thus making the Sunday festivities a complete wash out. What happens now? Well, the drivers that qualified 1-9 on Saturday are locked into those positions and spots 31-33 will qualify on Monday or whenever the rain breaks long enough for them to run. All the excitement of bump day is ruined and drivers that made the fast nine will not complete for the pole position.

The biggest crime in the whole weekend was the fact that the Saturday attempts were not broadcast on any sort of traditional network. You either have to subscribe to Fubo TV or pay $50 for NBC Sports Gold’s Indycar pass. NBC Sports Gold is an online only service. Because of this anyone who isn’t a die hard Indycar fan had absolutely no way to stumble onto the event and help promote the following weekends big race.

Shame on you Mr. Frye.

Here is the current qualifying order:

FAST NINE (Likely Final Starting Position, but inverse order) 

1 – Sebastien Bourdais – #18, DCR with Vasser-Sullivan, Honda – 228.8
2 – Alexander Rossi – #27, Andretti Autosport, Honda – 229.268
3 – Ed Carpenter – #20, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet – 229.349
4 – Ed Jones – #63, Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa, Chevrolet – 229.44
5- Colton Herta – #88, Harding Steinbrenner Racing, Honda – 229.478
6 – Josef Newgarden – #2, Team Penske, Chevrolet – 229.749
7 – Simon Pagenaud – #22, Team Penske, Chevrolet – 229.854
8 – Will Power – #12, Team Penske, Chevrolet – 230.081
9 – Spencer Pigot – #21, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet – 230.083

Row 4

98, Marco Andretti, Honda, 228.756 mph

25, Conor Daly, Honda, 228.617 mph

3, Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 228.523 mph

Row 5

7, Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 228.511 mph

30, Takuma Sato, Honda, 228.300

33, James Davison, Honda, 228.273 mph

Row 6 

14, Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 228.120 mph

15, Graham Rahal, Honda, 228.104 mph

9, Scott Dixon, Honda, 228.100 mph

Row 7

77, Oriol Servia, Honda, 227.991 mph

23, Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 227.915 mph

48, JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 227.908 mph

Row 8

28, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 227.877 mph

19, Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 227.731 mph

4, Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 227.717 mph

Row 9

60, Jack Harvey, Honda, 227.695 mph

42, Jordan King, Honda, 227.502 mph

81, Ben Hanley, Chevrolet, 227.482 mph

Row 10

26, Zach Veach, Honda, 227.341 mph

10, Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 227.297 mph

39, Pippa Mann, Chevrolet, 227.244 mph


66, Fernando Alonso, Chevrolet, 227.224 mph

5T, James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 227.039 mph

24, Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 226.951 mph

31, Patricio O’Ward, Chevrolet, 226.897 mph

 59, Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 226.321 mph

32, Kyle Kaiser, Chevrolet, 225.918 mph

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2 thoughts on “Jay Frye has Officially Ruined Indy 500 Qualifications Format

  1. He has ruined any excitement and just came up with some stupid idea that has caused 10-30 to accept those positions since they get are looked in. 1-9 must turn around and risk it all for what reason at that point. Cars 10-20 could challenge any of those top 9 . why try if your locked into no worse than 9th. Car 20-33 could be knocked out in the old format. He has turn d bumb day into a fist fight amongst poor people for a scrap of chewed food while the snobbish upper class wager on the lowly maggots. To top it off tv coverage is non existent for the real key day


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