When is the Indy 500? Start times, schedules, TV, stats, historical details about the race

When is the Indy 500
Chris Jones/IndyCar
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When is the Indy 500? Well, the good news is that it’s back in May.

Even better, it’ll have a crowd again: 135,000 fans (with face coverings required) have been approved to attend the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500, which will take place on Sunday, May 30 and will be broadcast on NBC.

After the 2020 race was held in August and without fans for the first time in the storied race’s history because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing will return to some degree of normalcy this season.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway officially opens for business for May next weekend with the GMR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 15 taking place on the track’s road course.

The action then will move to the 2.5-mile oval for two weeks of practice, qualifying and then the 500-Mile Race on May 30.

Here are all the pertinent details to help answer the question of “When is the Indy 500?” and many more (all times are ET and subject to change):

What are the Indy 500 race day start times?

5 a.m.: Garage opens

6 a.m.: Gates open

6:30 a.m.: Tech inspection

8:15 a.m.: Cars pushed to pit lane

10:30 a.m.: Cars on the starting grid

11:47 a.m.: Driver introductions

12:38 p.m.: Command to start engines

12:45 p.m.: Green flag for the 105th Indy 500

How can I watch the Indy 500 on TV?

The Indy 500 will be shown on NBC. Prerace coverage will begin at 9 a.m. on NBCSN, moving to NBC at 11 a.m. and running through 4 p.m., followed by a postrace show on NBCSN. It also will be available via streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com.

Practice and qualifying for the Indy 500 will be shown on NBC, NBCSN and Peacock Premium.

When is qualifying for the Indy 500?

Qualifying to set the 33-car field was held May 22-23. Scott Dixon won the Indy 500 pole position for the fourth time in his career.

Click here for the starting lineup in the 105th Indy 500.

When is practice for the Indy 500?

There will be five practice-only days, starting Tuesday, May 18 and continuing through Carb Day on May 28.

May 18: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (oval veterans 10 a.m.-noon; rookies and refreshers noon-2 p.m.; 3-6 p.m. all drivers), Peacock Premium

May 19: Noon-6 p.m., Peacock Premium

May 20: Noon-6 p.m., Peacock Premium

May 21: Noon-6 p.m., Peacock Premium

May 28: 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Peacock Premium, NBCSN

How many fans will be allowed to attend the Indy 500?

There will be 135,000 fans permitted (with face coverings required) in the 230,000-seat grandstands. Practice and qualifying also are open to the general public. The infield will be closed to fans, and the track has canceled all concerts (including Carb Day, Legends Day and the Snake Pit) for May.

How many laps and how long is the Indy 500?

The race is 500 miles over 200 laps. Depending on the number of yellow flags, the Indy 500 typically takes about 3 hours to complete (give or take 30 minutes).

What is the size, length, width and banking of Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

The track is 2.5 miles, which consists of:

  • Front straightaway: 5/8ths of a mile
  • Back straightaway: 5/8ths of a mile
  • Turns: Each a quarter-mile.
  • Short chutes: Each 1/8th of a mile

The track’s width is 50 feet on the straightaways and 60 feet in the turns. Its turns are banked at 9 degrees.

IMS sits on 963.4 acres (which includes the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, 315 acres of parking lots and a solar farm). There are 17 grandstands, 26 bridges and six tunnels. The infield is 253 acres.

Why do 33 cars start the Indy 500?

There were 40 cars that started the inaugural 500 Mile Race in 1911. Afterward, the American Automobile Association’s contest board decided the field was too big for the 2.5-mile track. A formula was created that decreed each car should be entitled to 400 feet when the field was spread around the track. Because 2.5 miles equals 13,200 feet, that allows for 33 cars at 400 feet apiece.

Why does the Indy 500 winner drink milk?

The tradition began in the 1930s when two-time winner Louis Meyer asked for a glass of buttermilk after his second victory (his mother taught him it would refresh him on hot days). After winning his third Indy 500 in 1936, a photo of Meyer drinking buttermilk led to a dairy industry executive requesting milk be available annually to the winner. Since 1956, winners have been given a $10,000 bonus from the Indiana Dairy Association for including milk in their postrace celebration.

What is the Indy 500 winner’s trophy?

The Borg-Warner Trophy has honored the winner since 1936. Each victor’s face is sculpted onto the trophy with a square that includes their name, winning year and average speed. Originally designed to hold 80 winners, two new bases were constructed to add more space (in 1986 and in 2004, which provides capacity through 2034).

The trophy is 5 feet, 4.75 inches high and weighs 110 pounds. It’s valued at more than $3 million and also features a 24-karat gold sculpture of late IMS owner Tony Hulman. It resides at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Hall of Fame Museum. Since 1988, race winners have received a 14-inch “Baby Borg” to keep.

Which drivers have won more than one Indy 500?

Driver Wins Years
Rick Mears 4 1979, 1984, 1988, 1991
Al Unser Sr. 4 1970, 1971, 1978, 1987
A.J. Foyt 4 1961, 1964, 1967, 1977
Dario Franchitti 3 2007, 2010, 2012
Helio Castroneves 3 2001, 2002, 2009
Bobby Unser 3 1968, 1975, 1981
Johnny Rutherford 3 1974, 1976, 1980
Mauri Rose 3 1941, 1947, 1948
Wilbur Shaw 3 1937, 1939, 1940
Louis Meyer 3 1928, 1933, 1936
Tommy Milton 2 1921, 1923
Bill Vukovich 2 1953, 1954
Rodger Ward 2 1959, 1962
Gordon Johncock 2 1973, 1982
Emerson Fittipaldi 2 1989, 1993
Al Unser Jr. 2 1992, 1994
Arie Luyendyk 2 1990, 1997
Dan Wheldon 2 2005, 2011
Juan Pablo Montoya 2 2000, 2015
Takuma Sato 2 2017, 2020

What are the closest finishes in Indy 500 history?

Year Winner Runner-up Margin of victory
1992 Al Unser Jr. Scott Goodyear 0.043 seconds
2014 Ryan Hunter-Reay Helio Casroneves 0.06 seconds
2006 Sam Hornish Jr. Marco Andretti 0.0635 seconds
2015 Juan Pablo Montoya Will Power 0.1046 seconds
1982 Gordon Johncock Rick Mears 0.16 seconds

Houston Supercross by the numbers: Five riders begin to gap the field

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Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.

Houston Supercross numbers
Cooper Webb’s ability to close races makes him a Houston favorite. – Feld Motor Sports

Despite an accident in his heat in San Diego that sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), Sexton recovered to score a top-five that weekend. His podium finish in Anaheim 1 and overall win last week in Anaheim 2 makes him one of the three riders with a perfect top-five record. He is joined by Cooper Webb, who finished second in the first two rounds and fourth last week, and Ken Roczen, whose consistency in the first three races contributed to him grabbing the top spot in this week’s NBC Supercross Power Rankings.

There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.

Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.

Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.

By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.

With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.

This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.

Jim Pomeroy won the first race in the Astrodome during the inaugural season of 1974 on a 250, which was the premiere class at the time. Houston was one of three races held that year along with events at Daytona International Speedway and the Los Angeles Coliseum. All three venues return in 2023 with the first SuperMotocross championship finale returning to the famed LA Coliseum in September.

Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.

Two privateers have started the season on a high note.

Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.

Michael Mosiman scored his first 250 win last year in San Diego. – Feld Motor Sports

The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.

Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.

In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.

The other 250 riders with 2022 wins this week are Mosiman, who earned his first Supercross win last year in San Diego, and Nate Thrasher, who became the fifth new class winner at Daytona.

Jeremy Martin will attempt to extend a record this week in Houston. His division leading SuperMotocross podiums number 65. He has 26 wins in the combined sessions, which ranks fourth all time.

Last Five Houston Winners

450s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Cooper Webb
2021, Race 2: Eli Tomac
2021, Race 1: Justin Barcia
2020, no race
2019, Cooper Webb
2018, Jason Anderson

250s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Colt Nichols
2021, Race 2: Jett Lawrence
2021, Race 1: Christian Craig
2020, no race
2019, Dylan Ferrandis
2018, Aaron Plessinger

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
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Chase Sexton wins Anaheim 2 in 450s; Levi Kitchen takes 250s
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