INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 – The 2019 Month of May schedule is set for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, highlighted by 11 days of on-track activity for fans and a new format adding more action and drama to both days of qualifying for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
Thirty-three drivers will line up to take the green flag for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” at 12:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday, May 26 on the historic, 2.5-mile oval. The sixth INDYCAR Grand Prix will kick off the Month of May at IMS at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11 on the 2.439-mile road course. Will Power of Team Penske will attempt to repeat his unprecedented sweep of both NTT IndyCar Series races in 2018.
“The Month of May is a magical time of year at the Speedway that stirs the passion of racing fans around the world,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “There’s nothing else like it. The combination of thrilling, wheel-to-wheel action on the IMS road course and oval provides the ultimate competitive challenge for the skilled drivers and teams of the NTT IndyCar Series and Road to Indy ladder series. Add in the great concerts on Race Weekend and all the other fun activities off track, and every fan is asking the same question: ‘Is it May yet?'”
The new Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge qualifying format will build even more drama and speed during both days of Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying, Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19.
Qualifying runs from 11 a.m.-5:50 p.m. Saturday, locking the 30 fastest drivers into the 33-car starting field and setting the stage for an exciting second day of qualifying Sunday.
Drivers outside of the top 30 from Saturday will get one qualifying attempt each to earn one of the three remaining starting spots in the exciting Last Row Shootout session from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Sunday. Drivers in this new session also face the nerve-fraying prospect of being bumped from the starting field.
The nine fastest drivers from Saturday each will receive one run in the Fast Nine Shootout from 1:15-2:15 p.m. Sunday to determine the pole winner and starting order in the first three rows of the world’s most prestigious auto race.
Exciting action resembling the 200-lap race then will unfold on track during an open practice for all qualified drivers from 3:15-6 p.m. Sunday. Expect heavy traffic and plenty of drafting and passing at race pace since that practice will be the longest post-qualifying on-track session for the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge field before Race Day.
Fans will see even more on-track action on Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, May 24. The final practice for all 33 Indianapolis 500 starters was extended 30 minutes, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The 17th Freedom 100 for the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires follows at 1 p.m. Then the popular Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, showcasing the top pit crews of the NTT IndyCar Series, will take place from 2-3:30 p.m.
Month of May action will start on the IMS road course with the INDYCAR Grand Prix, with two full days of on-track action Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 featuring the NTT IndyCar Series and the three Road to Indy ladder series, Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000.
The INDYCAR Grand Prix is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11.
NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and the exciting new INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold will present more than 80 hours of coverage during the Month of May.
The TV schedule includes live NBC telecasts of the INDYCAR Grand Prix (3 p.m. Saturday, May 11) and Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge (11 a.m. Sunday, May 26), live pre- and post-race Indy 500 shows on NBCSN and a live Indy 500 studio show during Race Week on NBCSN. For more information or to subscribe to INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, visit www.nbcsports.com/gold/indycar.
NBC also will televise the Last Row Shootout and Fast Nine Shootout live Sunday, May 19, and NBCSN will follow with three hours of live coverage of the exciting, new post-qualifying practice session that afternoon.
A great variety of live music also will form a perfect partnership with exciting racing throughout Race Weekend. Rock legends Foreigner and chart-topping funk, R&B and pop group Kool & the Gang will perform at the Miller Lite Carb Day Concert starting at 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 24.
Three-time Grammy Award-winning superstars Zac Brown Band will headline the Firestone Legends Day Concert, which starts at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 25. Global electronic music superstars Skrillex, Alesso, Illenium, Chris Lake and Ricky Retro are headlining the Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Coors Light starting at 7 a.m. Race Day, Sunday, May 26.
Tickets are on sale now at IMS.com for the sixth INDYCAR Grand Prix and 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
SOURCE: News release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway