Indy 500 pole qualifying overhauled for 2022

Indy 500 pole qualifying
Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Indy 500 pole qualifying will have a new twist for 2022 with two rounds replacing the Fast Nine format of recent years.

The NTT IndyCar Series announced Tuesday that the first four rows for the 106th edition of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing will be determined May 22 after positions 13-33 are set May 21.

After the first day of PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying, the 12 fastest drivers will have a guaranteed attempt to post a four-lap average for the pole position in the May 29 race (which will be broadcast on NBC). The top 12 session will begin at 4 p.m. ET on NBC.

INDY 500 PRIMER: Important details, schedule for watching on NBC

INDY 500 QUALIFYING: Click here for a graphical representation of the new format

The fastest six drivers will advance to the Firestone Fast Six at 5:10 p.m. ET to set the first two rows on NBC (the other six will slot in for the Rows 3 and 4).

The pole-sitter will receive $100,000, and 12 points toward the IndyCar standings. Points will be awarded in decreasing one-point increments for the top 12 (with second earning 11; third getting 10, etc.).

“We have an incredibly deep field heading into this year’s Indianapolis 500,” IndyCar president Jay Frye said in a release. “The timing is right to implement a new and dramatic way to expand one of the most intense weekends on our calendar. Winning pole position for the ‘500’ is an incredible feat, and with this new format, it will be even more challenging.”

If there are more than 33 entries in the event, a Last Chance Qualifying session for the three spots on the last row will be held from 2-3 p.m. ET on May 22. It’s expected that this year’s race could have a maximum of 33 entries.

“Indianapolis 500 qualifying weekend always is special,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles said in a release. “This format will give our fans even more opportunities to see IndyCar’s world-class drivers compete on racing’s biggest stage. While winning the race is the ultimate prize, capturing pole position for the ‘500’ is one of motorsports’ most prestigious honors and almost a race within a race. I cannot wait to see this expanded format on the final Sunday before Race Day.”

NBC will have live coverage of the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 29. The broadcast also will be on Peacock Premium and Telemundo Deportes on Universo.

For tickets to the Snake Pit festival, the Indy 500, the Carb Day Miller Lite concert or any practices and qualifying, click here to reserve a seat.

Here is the broadcast schedule for qualifying weekend (all times are ET):

Saturday, May 21

9-10:30 a.m.: Practice, Peacock Premium

Noon-5:50 p.m.: Indy 500 qualifying, positions 13-33, Peacock Premium

Sunday, May 22

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.:  Last Chance practice, Peacock Premium

12:30-2 p.m.: Top 12 practice, Peacock Premium

2-3 p.m.: Last Chance Qualifying (Positions 31-33, if necessary) Peacock

4 p.m.: Indy 500 top 12 qualifying, NBC

5:10 p.m.: Firestone Fast Six, NBC

Monday, May 23

11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Indy 500 practice, Peacock Premium

For tickets to the Snake Pit festival, the Indy 500, the Carb Day Miller Lite concert or any practices and qualifying, click here to reserve a seat.

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:

Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change