Here’s how #2inTO IndyCar qualifying works

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See the qualifying groups for Friday’s session linked here.

In case you need a refresher on how IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying works (Friday night, 5:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network) for these doubleheader weekends, see the below note from IndyCar. Basically, qualifying for race one is as normal for a single-race road or street course weekend, and race two qualifying will be determined by a second session held Saturday morning.

Race 1 (three segments to determine Verizon P1 Award winner; 3:10 p.m. Friday)

Segment 1

All cars shall participate in one of the two groups for 10 minutes per group inclusive of full-course yellow conditions, with six cars posting best lap times from each group advancing to Segment 2. Group 2 will begin its session 5 minutes after the checkered flag of Group 1.

Cars not advancing in Segment 2 will fill positions 13 through the end of the starting field to be ranked in order of best lap time as follows: Group 1 shall occupy the odd-numbered positions beginning with 13 and Group 2 will occupy the even-numbered positions beginning with 14.

Segment 2

Shall consist of one 10-minute, 12-car qualifying group inclusive of full-course yellow conditions, with all times from Segment 1 having been voided. Six cars posting the best lap times will advance to Segment 3 (the Firestone Fast Six).

Cars not advancing to Segment 3 will fill positions 7-12 to be ranked in order of time.

Segment 3 (Firestone Fast Six)

Consists of one 10-minute, six-car qualifying group, of which five minutes is guaranteed green-flag time, with all times from Segment 2 voided. Session shall begin 10 minutes after checkered flag of Segment 2.

Race 2 (10:50 a.m. Saturday)

All cars will participate in one of two groups for 12 minutes each, with five minutes of guaranteed green-flag time. Qualifying group will be determined by the combined times posted by entries during the practice session a day earlier.

Group 1 will consist of odd-numbered positions on the practice time sheet, while even-numbered positions will comprise Group 2.

The starting field positions will be determined by the best time ranking of the two groups combined, from fastest to slowest, with the fastest qualifier occupying the pole position.

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.