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Indianapolis 500: 2024 schedule, start time, how to watch, track, qualifying, and payout

The Indianapolis 500 is one of the highlights of the auto racing season and the showpiece event in the IndyCar calendar.

This year will see the 108th running of the famous race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when a field of 33 cars will tackle 200 high-speed laps of the oval track.

American driver Josef Newgarden won the race for the first time last season while veteran Helio Castroneves is bidding to become the first driver to win the Indy 500 five times.

Indianapolis 500 2024 date

The 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 take place on Sunday, May 26th, 2024.

Indianapolis 500 2024 start time

The 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 will begin at 12:38 PM ET, per IndyCar's official website.

Indianapolis 500 2024 schedule

The build-up to the Indianapolis 500 involves a series of practice and qualifying sessions known as the Month of May which decide the final field for the race.

Here is the full schedule for track action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

Tuesday, May 14th: Practice 1 & 2

Wednesday, May 15th: Practice 3

Thursday, May 16th: Practice 4

Friday, May 17th: Practice 5 12-6 PM ET

Saturday, May 18th: Practice 6 8:30-9:30 AM ET

Saturday, May 18th: Full-field Qualifying 11 AM-5:50 PM ET

Sunday, May 19th: Practice 7 12 PM-2 PM ET

Sunday, May 19th: Top 12, Last Chance and Fast Six Qualifying 3-6 PM ET

Monday, May 20th: Practice 8 1-3 PM ET

Friday, May 24th: Final Practice (Carb Day) 11 AM-1 PM ET

Sunday, May 26th: Indianapolis 500 ~12:38 PM ET

How to watch the Indianapolis 500, TV channel and streaming

The Indy 500 will be shown live on NBC, which has held the broadcast rights to the event since 2019 and will begin its raceday coverage at 11 AM ET.

NBC will also show the second day of qualifying while all other Indy 500 sessions will be streamed live on Peacock.  

Indianapolis 500 track – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located six miles east of downtown Indianapolis in Speedway, Indiana.

The banked oval circuit was built in 1909 and, in addition to its signature race, the Indianapolis 500, also hosts the IndyCar Brickyard 400. The venue has also held rounds of the F1 and MotoGP world championship on its infield course.

The track is 2.5 miles long (the 500 in the title comes from the number of miles in the 200-lap race), with four quarter-mile turns linking the two straightaways, which are each five-eighths of a mile long.

The track is known as The Brickyard due to the three-foot-wide line of bricks from the original track which were kept at the start-finish line when the rest of the oval was paved over with asphalt in 1961. The garage area at the track is commonly known as Gasoline Alley.

Indianapolis 500 qualifying

Qualifying for the Indy 500 this year will be held over Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th.

There are 34 entrants this year, so with only 33 places available in the field, one car will not qualify.

Each driver's qualifying speed is determined by their average time over four qualifying laps in each run.

Every car is guaranteed one attempt on Saturday. After Saturday's first qualifying runs, drivers can opt to have another run, but must forfeit their original time to do so.

The drivers placed 13th to 30th will start the race from those positions, while the fastest 12 will compete for pole position in Sunday's qualifying sessions.

The four slowest drivers (31st to 34th on Saturday) compete for the final three grid slots in Last Chance Qualifying on Sunday.

The six fastest drivers in Sunday's Top 12 session advance to the final qualifying session on Sunday, called the Fast Six, which determines pole position and the first three rows of the grid.

Indianapolis 500 winners payout and purse

The 2024 purse and winner's payout has not yet been announced.

2023 champion Josef Newgarden took home $3.67 million, while the race had a record purse of over $17 million.

The first winner of the Indy 500, Ray Haroun, took home a $14,250 share of the total purse of $27,550 in 1911.

The first total purse of a million dollars was reached in 1970, when winner Al Unser claimed $271,697 of that pot, while Emerson Fittipaldi was the first winner to receive a seven-figure sum in 1989.

The overall purse reached $10m in 2002 and Helio Castroneves was the first winner to pocket $3m in 2009.

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