Indy 500 qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: How it works, when to watch, entries

The 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place on Sunday, May 26. But before the race can commence, the lineup must be determined, and that happens over two days of qualifying this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

On Saturday, every car entered in the 2024 Indy 500 will take to the track for four laps to try to record the fastest average speed. The drivers with the 12 fastest average speeds return Sunday to compete for the pole position. Drivers with the slowest average speeds on Saturday can also return Sunday to lock into the field.

Qualifying will be extra intriguing this year as 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson seeks to become the first driver since former NASCAR champion Kurt Busch in 2014 to attempt the IndyCar-NASCAR double – racing in the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

Here is a detailed breakdown of how qualifying works for the 2024 Indianapolis 500, the weekend schedule and which drivers are entered:

When is the 2024 Indianapolis 500?

  • The 108th running of the Indy 500 is Sunday, May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

  • Television coverage begins at 11 a.m. ET on NBC. The race can also be streamed on Peacock and IndyCar Live.

  • The green flag is scheduled to drop at 12:45 p.m. ET.

When is Indianapolis 500 qualifying?

Qualifying for the 2024 Indy 500 takes place Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


  • Qualifying runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET

  • Qualifying can be streamed on Peacock and IndyCar Live.


  • Qualifying runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

  • Qualifying will be televised by NBC and can be streamed on Peacock and IndyCar Live.

How does Indianapolis 500 qualifying work?


  • Following a one-hour morning practice session, which begins at 8:30 a.m. ET, the 34 entries – which include eight former winners and seven rookies – will attempt to complete four consecutive laps on the 2.5-mile track. The qualifying order is set by a random draw. The speeds of each of the four laps are averaged together for one qualifying speed.

  • The goal of Saturday's qualifying is two-fold: 1) to be one of the 30 fastest cars and lock up a spot in the Indy 500 field, and 2) to be one of the 12 fastest cars and return the following day for a chance to win the Indy 500 pole position.

  • Positions 13 through 30 on the starting grid (rows five through 10) for the 2024 Indy 500 will be locked once Saturday's qualifying session ends.

  • Once every driver has made one attempt at qualifying on Saturday, slower cars can make another run to improve their speeds. Drivers may choose from two lanes for second and subsequent attempts. Cars in the priority lane (Lane 1) must withdraw their qualified time – if the car has one – but get priority access to the track. Lane 2 is for cars that have already qualified but wish to improve their position.


There will be three distinct qualifying sessions on Sunday, following another practice session that begins at noon ET.

  • Beginning at 3 p.m., the drivers with the 12 best qualifying speeds on Saturday will hit the the track in order of slowest to fastest from Saturday's session. The six fastest speeds from Top 12 Qualifying advance to another session. The other six cars will lock up positions 7 through 12 (rows three and four) on the starting grid.

  • Last Chance Qualifying then begins at 4:15 p.m. ET. During this session, the four slowest cars on Saturday will each run qualifying laps to try to lock up a spot on the last row of the Indy 500 starting grid. Three of the four cars will earn spots 31 through 33 on the starting grid, while one will be sent home.

  • The battle for the Indy 500 pole begins at 5:25 p.m. ET with the Firestone Fast Six. The order is based on times from Top 12 qualifying, from slowest to fastest. The best driver in the Firestone Fast Six will earn the pole, and the next two fastest will clinch a spot on front row. The remaining three drivers will line up on the second row in positions 4 through 6.

Kyle Larson to attempt 'The Double'

Kyle Larson will be the busiest driver in motorsports this weekend and next. The NASCAR star will take to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval on Saturday to take qualifying laps for the 2024 Indy 500. Should he be among the 12 fastest drivers or four slowest, Larson, who is driving for Arrow McLaren, would return to the track on Sunday to either race for the pole or attempt to make the last row of the race.

But Indy 500 activities only make up one part of his racing plans; Larson still has his main series to focus on. On Sunday night, the Hendrick Motorsports driver is scheduled to compete in the 2024 NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina at 8 p.m. ET (FS1). The following Sunday, Larson would have the Indy 500 – should he qualify – in the early afternoon – before flying from Indianapolis to Charlotte, North Carolina for NASCAR's longest race of the season: the Coca-Cola 600, which begins at 6 p.m. ET (FOX).

Entries for the 2024 Indianapolis 500

With car number, driver, team and manufacturer. R-Indy 500 Rookie of the Year candidate; W-former Indy 500 winner

  1. (2) Josef Newgarden (W), Team Penske, Chervrolet

  2. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske, Chervrolet

  3. (4) Kyffin Simpson (R), Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda

  4. (5) Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren, Chervrolet

  5. (6) Helio Castroneves (W), Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb-Agajanian, Honda

  6. (6) Callum Ilott, Arrow McLaren, Chervrolet

  7. (7) Alexander Rossi (W), Arrow McLaren, Chervrolet

  8. (8) Linus Lundqvist (R), Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda

  9. (9) Scott Dixon (W), Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda

  10. (10) Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda

  11. (11) Marcus Armstrong (R), Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda

  12. (12) Will Power (W), Team Penske, Chervrolet

  13. (14) Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chervrolet

  14. (15) Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda

  15. (17) Kyle Larson (R), Arrow McLaren/Rick Hendrick, Chervrolet

  16. (18) Nolan Siegel (R), Dale Coyne Racing, Honda

  17. (20) Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chervrolet

  18. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chervrolet

  19. (23) Ryan Hunter-Reay (W), DRR-CUSICK MOTORSPORTS, Chervrolet

  20. (24) Conor Daly, DRR-CUSICK MOTORSPORTS, Chervrolet

  21. (26) Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian, Honda

  22. (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Global, Honda

  23. (28) Marcus Ericsson (W), Andretti Global, Honda

  24. (30) Pietro Fittipaldi, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda

  25. (33) Christian Rasmussen (R), Ed Carpenter Racing, Chervrolet

  26. (41) Sting Ray Robb, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chervrolet

  27. (45) Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda

  28. (51) Katherine Legge, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, Honda

  29. (60) Felix Rosenqvist, Meyer Shank Racing, Honda

  30. (66) Tom Blomqvist (R), Meyer Shank Racing, Honda

  31. (75) Takuma Sato (W), Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda

  32. (77) Romain Grosjean, Juncos Hollinger Racing, Chervrolet

  33. (78) Agustin Canapino, Juncos Hollinger Racing, Chervrolet

  34. (98) Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian, Honda

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Indy 500 qualifying 2024: Schedule, how to watch, format, entries