The Indy Racing League has revised its qualifications procedure for the four IZOD IndyCar Series oval events to close the 2010 season in response to accommodating expanded entrant lists. Effective beginning this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, a qualification attempt will now include the average speed of two consecutively timed laps. Previously, the average speed of four timed laps was used to set the starting grid. The remainder of the oval qualifying rules remain unchanged.
A season-high 29 cars (outside of the traditional 33 for the Indianapolis 500) are entered for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 on Aug. 27-28 at Chicagoland Speedway. Races at Kentucky Speedway (Sept. 4), Twin Ring Motegi (Sept. 19) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 2) follow. An average of 26 cars was entered in the three oval events this season outside of the Indy 500.
"The number of cars we're having at our events – 27 cars at Mid-Ohio and 29 at Chicagoland and maybe Homestead-Miami – and the length of time it takes to qualify these cars when you're conducting two-day shows, it becomes a non-productive use of track time," Indy Racing League president of competition and racing operations Brian Barnhart said. "By going to an average of two timed laps instead of four, it reduces our qualifying time by 33 percent. We'd rather make sure the drivers are getting ample track time in practice conditions with all cars on track at the same time to be better-prepared for the race."
The four-lap qualifying procedure was instituted for the 2008 season.