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With a $175,000 check going to the Peak Performance Pole winner and new rewards for the other front-row starters – plus extra IZOD IndyCar Series championship bonus points – "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" is looking to make Pole Day the Greatest Spectacle in Qualifying. In a new two-session qualifying format just announced for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the top nine cars after the initial four-lap runs are completed will have their times erased and will go into a second 90-minute round where they need to make at least one additional pass. They will be gunnin' for not just the pole, but a cash payout more than twice what it was last year.

Besides the $175,000 check going to the pole winner, second place gets $75,000 and the final front row starter will get $50,000. In addition to the money, there are more championship points being doled out at Indy this year. Typically, the IndyCar Series rewards the Peak Performance Pole Award winner one point, but for this year's 500, the series will award points to every qualifier. Pole gets 15 points, second receives 13, third 12, and so on for spots 4-9. Positions 10-24 get four points each and everyone else gets three.

The top 24 spots in the 33-car field will be claimed during the traditional four-lap runs, with each car getting up to three attempts during that time. The top nine follow that session up with the new pole shootout session, while the final nine spots will be filled on Bump Day (May 23), with four-lap qualifying attempts that could start bumping low qualifiers once 33 cars have already qualified. All of which should add just a little extra excitement to this year's Indy 500.

[Source: IndyCar Series | Image: Chris Graythen/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Indycar is so irrelevant that it takes a week for this to make it to the AB...

      That being said, I'll still probably find my way across town to the track this year. Would be better if a second, smaller race was added to the Speedway in Indy using the MotoGP track the week after that race.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Indy Car racing has actually been interesting this year. It may not be like it was 15 years ago, but this year so far the racing has been as entertaining as it was back in 1998-1999.

      So good for them. And it will only get better.

      I encourage everyone to watch at least one indycar race this year. It has gotten very entertaining.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yup it sure has been good this year. I'm a huge indycar fan so I'm extremely excited to see the series getting back on it's feet with better racing, more cars in each race (averaging about 24 a race so far), and marketing.

        I'm extremely excited about the 500 itself this year as well. There is a strong chance that 40 cars are committed so far for the race and a possibility of another 10 or so that have yet to be announced. Bump day will actually be exciting again. Kudos to Indycar for making "the Month of May" shorter as well. It allows those smaller teams to compete thus increasing interest and turnup by new teams that otherwise would not have the budget.

        The changes to qualifying, though not traditional, are a welcomed format for me. Makes things much more interesting while still keeping that spark of Indy tradition in there. It sort of reminds me of a playoff system or sorts. top nine advance to try to take a crack at the pole.

        The bonus points are huge as well. Definitely a great incentive to get the cars out there and fight more.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. IndyCar has been beaten and battered the last few years, but the racing has been very fast and exciting.
        it's been a while since I've been to an Indycar race. I'd love to get to one again soon.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Say what you will about the idiocy the FIA tends to engage in, at least they don't change the rules of Formula One in the middle of the season. Not to my knowledge anyway.
      • 5 Years Ago
      its gonna be nice race cant wait