Changes potentially coming to Indianapolis 500 Qualifying

Jamie Squire

Mark Miles, the IndyCar parent company CEO, appeared on an Indiana TV show earlier this week and outlined some potential changes to the qualifying procedure for the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar parent organization (Hulman & Co.) CEO Mark Miles appeared on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick earlier this week and unveiled his ambitions to possibly alter the qualifying procedure for the Indianapolis 500.

The current format was instituted in 2010 and features Pole Day on Saturday and Bump Day on Sunday the weekend prior to the race itself. On Pole Day, the first 24 spots are filled with positions 1-9 determined by a final Fast Nine shootout at the conclusion of the afternoon.

Sunday would ideally feature Bump Day, the intent to fill out positions 25-33 but since the advent of the new IR-12 Dallara car, a true Bump Day has not been achieved. In a perfect world -- like 2011 -- there would be vastly more cars entered than positions available but that hasn't been the case the past two years.

In the final year of the old IR-05 chassis, 40 cars attempted to qualify for the 2011 Indianapolis 500 but availability of cars and Honda/Chevrolet engine packages has made receiving 33 entries much more challenging.

With that in mind, Miles outlined the following the plan to stretch out the excitement for Indianapolis 500 qualifying sessions, as recapped by NBC MotorSportsTalk's Tony Dizinno:

Saturday would see all spots 1-33 filled, but all qualifying speeds provisional and the order not finalized.

Sunday would see the order 1-33 determined, with spots 10-33 decided by a second day's run and spots 1-9 again run in the final session to build the excitement for the pole position.

"We're playing around with ways to make (qualifying weekend) more intriguing," Miles said on the show. "Pole Day was Saturday and Bump Day was Sunday. We thought at this point that's a little anticlimactic.

"In our mind, (this would) culminate at the end of Sunday, and I think that makes the two days even more competitive."

Neither IndyCar nor the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has confirmed if the idea will be implemented in the future. Ed Carpenter is the defending pole sitter of the 500-Mile Race.

Editor's note: A previous version of this post omitted a link back to MotorSportsTalk. We apologize for the error.

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