More details on qualifying for IndyCar doubleheaders

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Qualifying for the second race of all IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheaders this season — which includes the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit (the next race on the schedule following this weekend’s Indianapolis 500), Honda Indy Toronto and Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston — will be split into two groups.

Cars will run in one of two groups for 12 minutes each — five of which will be guaranteed to be run under green flag conditions. This decision amends a previous rule that had a 30-minute qualifying session for all cars involved.

“Splitting qualifications for the second race will give a premium to the amount of track time available to each competitor,” said IndyCar race director Beaux Barfield in a series statement. “It will improve the ability for competitors to get a clean lap and post a true lap time.”

The qualifying groups will be formed via combined practice times from the day before, with Group 1 consisting of odd-numbered positions and Group 2 consisting of even-numbered positions. The grid will be determined by the best time ranking of the two groups combined, with the fastest qualifier on pole.

Qualifying for Race 1 of the doubleheaders will follow IndyCar’s standard three-round “knockout” format it uses on road and street circuits.

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Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”