The 2016 Indianapolis 500 is just around the corner and there’s no shortage of buzz surrounding this year’s big race! Check out what’s new in 2016 along with Indy 500 information and a breakdown of qualifying procedures. You’ll impress your friends and sound like an IndyCar expert on raceday!
The Indianapolis 500 is more popular than ever and ticket demand for the upcoming race is through the roof! Reserved seats sold out for the first time in 25 years and the average resale price for a ticket to the Indianapolis 500 has increased by nearly 70% over 2015, according to TicketNetwork.*
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Why is this year’s Indianapolis 500 special? Besides the fact 2016 mark’s the 100th running, Katherine Legge along with Grace Autosport will become the first ever all-female racing team to compete at the prestigious event! IndyCar officials have also made some interesting alterations this year. The new rules along with changes to the already rigorous qualifying procedures will undoubtedly alter each team’s strategy this weekend. The most notable modifications are to the Honda aero-kit parameters and teams with Chevrolet engines will no longer be able to use the fuel additive (HiTec 6590). IndyCar officials are certainly not taking it easy on newcomers either. Rookie drivers will have to complete each of the three qualifying phase’s with a minimum speed requirement average 5 mph faster than last year.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Map:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Map

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Address:
4790 W 16th St
Indianapolis, IN 46222
United States of America

What is the Indianapolis 500?

The Indianapolis 500 or “Indy 500” is the premiere IndyCar racing event held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana over Memorial Day weekend. The Indy 500 is one of the Triple Crowns of Motorsports and consists of 33 drivers competing for a $2.5 million first place prize. Drivers endure 200 laps, covering 500 miles and that’s not even counting practice and qualifying. IndyCars average speeds have been clocked at over 230 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, significantly faster than their NASCAR counterparts (188.8 mph). Official attendance numbers are not released by Indianapolis Motor Speedway, however estimates including infield spectators on race-day is reported to reach 300,000.

2016 Indianapolis 500 Rule Changes:

  • Rookie orientation increased by 5 mph for all three phases of qualifying.
  • Push-to-pass boost increase (approx. 20+ horsepower)
  • All engines must use Sunoco E85R fuel and Chevrolet’s will no longer be allowed to use the HiTec 6590 fuel additive.
  • Honda aero-kit must include the chassis center line wicker.
  • Minimum car weight increased by 30 lbs.
  • Pitlane speed limit decreased from 60 to 50 mph.
  • Domed skid plates are mandatory.

How do drivers qualify for the Indianapolis 500?

Indianapolis 500 qualification procedures are unique from the standard IndyCar procedures with two additional phases (Sunday Qualification and the Fast Nine Shootout). Drivers must be one of the nine fastest times on Saturday to earn a chance to win the pole position in the Fast Nine Shootout. The rest of the field will fight for positions 10-33 in a separate Sunday qualifying segment.
Saturday Qualification (All)
The order for qualifying is selected with a blind draw before the start of qualification day. The four fastest lap times for each car is averaged to determine the order for Sunday qualifying with the fastest nine advancing to the Fast Nine Shootout.
Sunday Qualification (Positions 10-33)
Positions 10-33 as determined by Saturday’s four fastest lap average will qualify in reverse order. Times are reset and all racecars must complete at least four-laps to determine their starting position on race day.
Fast Nine Shootout (Positions 1-9)
The fastest nine cars as determined by Saturday qualification times are guaranteed a top nine starting position on race day. The order for this segment is determined by Saturdays lap time average and run in reverse order. For this phase, times are reset and positions 1-9 on race day are determined by the fastest four-lap average during this segment.

2016 Indianapolis 500 Information:

Race Day: Sunday, May 29, 2016
Network: ABC
Pace Car: Chevrolet Camaro
Pace Car Driver: Roger Penske
Defending Champion: Juan Pablo Montoya
National Anthem: Darius Rucker
Attendance: Approx. 300,0000 (including infield)
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