IndyCar Qualifying Format Used at Iowa to be Used at Gateway Doubleheader

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Photo Credit: Joe Skibinski / Courtesy of IndyCar

The qualifying format used at the Iowa IndyCar 250s at Iowa Speedway will also now be used for the Bommarito Automotive Group doubleheader event at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

Under normal circumstances, oval qualifying aside from the Indianapolis 500 in the NTT IndyCar Series consists of a two lap run, where the average speed of the two laps decides the grid. This was last used at the season opening Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

At Iowa, the average speed of each individual lap set the grid for each race. Lap one decided the grid for race one, while lap two set the grid for race two.

This format isn’t without its downsides, however, as Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud was unable to qualify and started last in both races.

IndyCar president Jay Frye explained to why this format was adopted. 

“The teams have to come in early because they have a set slot to be screened [for COVID-19], and so the days become very long,” Frye said.

“So we had to consider ways to make the overall weekend better for everybody… [Iowa qualifying] was fun to watch and it was easy to explain on NBCSN. 

“And with qualifying out of the way in one session, it meant that on Saturday, the teams could come in at 11am instead of 6am.”

With the weekend becoming a doubleheader, there will be two 200 lap races instead of one 248 lap race. The races will take place on Saturday 29 August and Sunday 30 August respectively.

IndyCar won’t be the only events to take place across that weekend at the track. Saturday’s IndyCar race will be followed by the ARCA Menards Series, and the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will hit the track Sunday morning before the second IndyCar event. 

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