Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

May 22, 2014

Anxiously Awaiting Sunday’s Indianapolis 500

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 4:46 pm

Pole ManA few days before the great race have gone by and thoughts about the newly configured qualifying weekend are clearer. At more and more oval race tracks the notion of one at a time qualifying seems outdated. It does not usually draw a crowd even at NASCAR tracks. Indianapolis, however, is different. Four laps of absolute intensity. Thankfully that has not changed.

What has changed is May being the make or break month for a high number of folks who make that their season centerpiece. IMS touted 70 qualifying attempts on Saturday which is amazing. The problem is it occurred with only 33 cars. That tends to lessen the intensity. Qualifying becomes a shell game. The best possible solution while controlling costs is loosening the specs. The notion of Honda and Chevy pre-ordaining the field is abhorrent. A pre-ordained field of any kind stinks to high heaven.

The 500The hocus pocus concocted by IMS, however, did end up compelling. Instead of bumping after 33 spots are filled, bumping occurred after/out of the first nine. A very smart idea is awarding points on Saturday in inverse order and determining the fast nine. GREAT idea. ‘Pole day’ harkened back to what it used to feel like. One shot. Four hard laps. That’s where you start. Period. Simple and easy and more traditional. Still, 45 or 50 entrants trying for 33 spots is absolutely necessary going forward.

Given the depth of the overall field and the combination of folks with such diverse experience, the 98th running should provide a great show, and the weather forecast looks favorable. See you there!



  1. Amen!!

    Comment by Tony Dinelli — May 22, 2014 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

  2. I was kind of disappointed in the Sunday ABC show. It was not so much about qualifying, was all about the Fast Nine.
    D, I have a question about the Fast Nine. Can the teams still wave off a qualifying run? I wondered why AA did not wave off Munoz’s run, bring him in, make adjustments and send him back out.
    Editor’s Note: Darned if I know. The rules seem fluid.

    Comment by Chris Lukens — May 22, 2014 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

    • That is what I did not like about Sunday. Every one of the 33 drivers were given only one attempt. No one could waive off a qualifying attempt on Sunday. It was just a made for TV exhibition.

      If we can’t get back to true bumping of cars out of the field, I think they need to go to one day qualifying.

      Comment by Bob F. — May 23, 2014 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

  3. Still miss the old qualifying system. And regardless of the Speedway’s attempt to generate more interest with this new format, the stands were still empty. I’m afraid the old crowds on qualifying days are gone forever.

    Comment by DOUG — May 23, 2014 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

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