Changes At Indianapolis
September 14, 2004 | 1:56 P.M. EST
INDIANAPOLIS - The schedule for the 89th Indianapolis 500 features a variety of exciting changes designed to benefit fans and teams, Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced Sept. 14.
The race is scheduled for Sunday, May 29, 2005. Opening Day is scheduled for Sunday, May 8, with a full three weeks of activity during the traditional Month of May at the Speedway.
Changes to the schedule of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” include: A new start time of noon local time, one hour later than in past years. The new start time moves the event into a better time slot for national television viewers and also provides more time for hundreds of thousands of race fans to arrive at the track on Race Day morning.
A new qualifying format that produces bumping on each day of qualifying. There also will be a return to the traditional four days of qualifying, expanding from the three days of recent years. MBNA Pole Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, with Second Day Qualifying on Sunday, May 15, Third Day Qualifying on Saturday, May 21 and Bump Day on Sunday, May 22.
A new date for Miller Lite Carb Day, which shifts to Friday, May 27 from its past Thursday date. The Futaba Freedom 100 also moves to Miller Lite Carb Day, a new date for that Indy Racing League® Menards Infiniti Pro Series™ race.
A new schedule for practice days, with on-track activity taking place from noon-6 p.m. each day except for May 8-9, one hour less of track time per day than in past years. The later start time will reduce costs for teams over the three-week span of the event while still providing ample time to prepare for the most prestigious race in the world and the marquee event of the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series season. Track activity will take place from noon-5 p.m. May 8-9.
A new schedule for the Rookie Orientation Program, which returns to its traditional Month of May slot, as ROP will take place during the first two days of practice, May 8-9.
“While making the schedule for the 2005 Indianapolis 500, we’ve listened closely to competitors, fans and community leaders because we know how important the Month of May is to them for so many reasons,” said Tony George, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO. “Our goal was to provide a schedule that balances the best interests of each party and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway while maintaining the traditions of the event and the exciting buildup to Race Day during the entire month.
“We believe the schedule achieves those goals while providing even more excitement with the new race start time, qualifying format and Carb Day date.”
To purchase tickets, camping or parking for the 89th Indianapolis 500, contact the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY or log on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.