Mark Miles, president of Hulman and Company the parent company of IndyCar and owners of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has confirmed that the series will not be making changes to qualifying for the 2019 event to ensure full time drivers make the field for the Indianapolis 500.
There have been suggestions this week from team owner Chip Ganassi that it might be a good idea for full time drivers in the series to be quaranteed entry to the race.
Team Penske’s Roger Penske has said something similar as he wants to ensure that what we saw with James Hinchcliffe failing to qualify for last year’s race never happens again.
Speaking to the Indianapolis Star this week Miles said:
Look, If I’m a car owner, a full-time car owner, I make a significant investment in racing in the IndyCar Series … So I’d want to know I’m going to be able to race in it.”
This year qualifying for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge takes place on May over the weekend of May 18 and 19.
On May 18 positions 10 to 30 will be decided while the Firestone Fast Nine takes place on Sunday which will also be Bump Day so those drivers on the bubble for entry to the race will have to wait until Sunday to see whether will get a spot on the grid of 33 starters.
On Bump Day there will be the Last Row Shootout for the final three spots in the field for the race.
Miles went on to say:
As far as locked-in entries, there isn’t an argument we haven’t heard. We understand it all. We just made an adjustment to the rules that is in part motivated by this consideration of how impactful it is on all teams if they don’t qualify for the race. So weather permitting, they’ll have more than one shot. And that’s what we’re doing this year.
The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge takes place on May 26 for ticket information visit www.ims.com