The new qualifying format for the Indianapolis 500 now allows any entry that has not made the field at the end of the first day a chance to make the last row of the grid on the second day.
The IndyCar Series announced the changes Monday.
1996 Indianapolis 500 and 2000 IndyCar champion Buddy Lazier will attempt to race his way into the 2014 Indy 500 with a family-owned car.
The 46-year old Colorado native made his return to the Indianapolis 500 last year, but an early mechanical failure put him out of the race. However, the team have now had a whole year to put everything back together, and Lazier is confident that this year will provide better results.
News broke Thursday afternoon that J.R. Hildebrand will compete in the 2014 Indianapolis 500 in the No. 21 car fielded by Ed Carpenter Racing.
Hildebrand has competed against Ed Carpenter on the track before, but now, with the 2009 Indy Lights Championship and the 2011 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year to his name, Hildebrand’s resume has proven strong enough to land him a ride with a solid team again.
The new qualifying format for the Indianapolis 500 will include three rounds over two days, with the pole-winner emerging from a “Fast Nine Shootout” on what used to be Bump Day.
IndyCar officials also said Friday there will be points incentives that have yet to be announced.
Qualifying for the Indy 500 this year will begin on May 17 when the fastest 33 cars are locked into the field. All entries will be guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to qualify, and the fastest nine drivers will move into the shootout.
Condolences continue to stream in after Monday’s passing of 87-year-old Floyd Ganassi, father of NASCAR, GRAND-AM and IndyCar Series team owner Chip Ganassi, who helped his son to become an Indy car driver in the 1980s and later to build the championship-winning Ganassi Racing program that opened its doors in 1990.
The elder Ganassi was a fixture in Indy car and stock car paddocks across North America, forging deep relationships with many of those he came in contact with. The late Pittsburgh, PA.-based businessman has received a number of touching tributes in the 24 hours since the news was revealed by the team.