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Bumping is back at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar series driver Scott Dixon signals No. 1 after winning the pole on May 22, 2022, during qualifications for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis. (Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One of the most exciting — and stressful — Indianapolis 500 traditions will be back for 2023: bumping.

Thirty-four cars are expected to compete for 33 starting spots in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” during qualifying on Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Doug Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, says he can’t wait to see the cars trimmed out for maximum speed as they compete for a place in the field.

“We know how much our loyal fans love the ‘race within the race’ to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, and bumping will add even more drama this year,” Boles said in a release.

There will be more at stake during qualifying than just a spot in the race on Sunday, May 28. The top 12 drivers on the grid will receive NTT IndyCar Series points.

Track activity for the Indianapolis 500 will begin on Tuesday, May 16 with Indy 500 practice.

Tickets for PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying, practice days, and the Indianapolis 500 are available at

Qualifying Format

Here’s a look at the qualifying format for the 107th Indianapolis 500:

Day One: Saturday, May 20

11 a.m. – 5:50 p.m.: Full Field Qualifying

Qualifying will take place for positions 1 – 30. Positions 13 – 30 will be set, and those drivers will not requalify Sunday.

When every car in the qualifying order has been given at least one chance to qualify, teams 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 ahead of Lane 2. Lane 2 is for cars that have already qualified but want to improve their position.

Once cars are outside of the Top 30, they are considered not to have a qualification speed, as only positions 1 – 30 will be locked in on Saturday.

Day Two: Sunday, May 21

2 – 3 p.m.: Top 12 Qualifying

During this session, positions 7 – 12 will be determined. The order is based on Saturday times, slowest to fastest. Each car is guaranteed one qualifying attempt. The fastest six advance to the Fast Six.

4 -5 p.m.: Last Chance Qualifying

Starting positions 31 – 33 will be determined. Each car is guaranteed one attempt and may take multiple attempts until time runs out. Each car’s most recent qualification speed will remain eligible for the starting lineup until the time is withdrawn/qualifications end.

5:15 – 5:45 p.m.: Firestone Fast Six

Positions 1 -6 will be determined. The order is based on times from Top 12 Qualifying earlier in the day, slowest to fastest. Each car is guaranteed one attempt.

The fastest driver in the Fast Six will earn the pole award.