SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — The stakes are high on Qualifying Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Saturday races at 11 a.m. will start the two-day process of determining the 33 cars in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.
“It’s twofold, you have the guys who had a great day yesterday and they’re just excited about going for the pole,” said WISH-TV racing analyst Tyce Carlson, “and you have the guys who didnt’ have a good day yesterday and they’re just full of anxiety right now, wondering what they have to do to even make it to the show.”
Except for a few wall bumps and loose tires, the two 30-minute practice sessions Saturday morning went without incident.
Due to a change in IndyCar qualifying rules, drivers will have multiple chances to qualify. The top nine drivers will lock in today, and drivers in positions 10-30 will also be assured they’ll race the Indy 500. The bottom six drivers today will then fight for the last three positions on Bump Day Sunday.
“They’re trying to make it more exciting for the fans, give it more drama in this last hour of qualifying,” explained Carlson.
Driver and fan favorite James Hinchcliffe missed last year’s Indy 500 when he failed to qualify.
Second-year driver Kyle Kaiser wrecked during practice laps this week and will drive a backup car today.