As the beginning of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season lure closer, INDYCAR announced changes to the points format today. The “enhancements” as series officials are calling them will put a premium on the three 500-mile races, as well as Indianapolis 500 qualifying.
As the same with previous seasons, each race winner will receive 50 points, with second receiving 40 points, third receiving 35, fourth receiving 32 and it dropping off by two point implements the rest of the way back.
However, beginning this year, there will be double points awarded for 500-mile events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Auto Club Speedway. This move puts an emphasis on the ‘Triple Crown’ events of the season.
Also, INDYCAR announced that they will award points as part of their new qualifying format for the Indianapolis 500. If you missed the announcement surrounding the format earlier this year, you can click here for details.
On May 17th, the first day of qualifying, there will be points rewarded for each of the 33 qualifying positions. The quickest qualifier will receive 33 points, with second receiving 32 points and it dropping off by one point each spot back.
On May 18th, the second day of qualifying, only the drivers that have qualified for the Fast Nine Shootout will receive points. The Verizon P1 Award winner gets nine points, while second gets eight points and it continues dropping off by one point per position.
“Adding more weight to the 500-mile events rewards teams and drivers that continually rise to the occasion at key times of the year,” Derrick Walker, President of Competition and Operations, INDYCAR, said. “We looked at various ways to improve the way we decide our champions, and this will only make the championship battles more exciting.”
INDYCAR also announced changes to the format for the Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship in an effort to rewards durability and performance,in addition to penalizing competitors when warranted during the 18-race season.
Per the press release that INDYCAR sent out, under the new format:
• Manufacturers will receive a 10-point award for each of their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engines that reach the 2,500-mile change-out threshold set by INDYCAR for 2014.
• The Manufacturers’ Championship format mirrors points awarded to the top five drivers and entrants in each race when running one of the four assigned engines allotted for the season.
• Bonus points will be awarded to the manufacturer that leads the most laps (2 points), leads at least one lap (1 point) and earns the Verizon P1 Award (1 point), with the exception of the Indianapolis 500. Points awarded to the top five in qualifying May 17-18 at Indianapolis.
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• The 10-grid-spot penalty levied on an entry whose engine was changed before it met the mileage threshold or surpassed the mandated number of engines for the season is removed. Instead, 10 points will be deducted from the manufacturer’s total for each occurrence.
• Entrant-initiated engine change-outs will result in the loss of 10 driver and entrant points.
• An unapproved engine change-out by an entry will result in it starting from the rear of the grid in the next race. No engine change-out grid penalties will be served during the Indianapolis 500. Penalties carried over into or earned at the Indianapolis 500 will be served at the subsequent race.
“Fans didn’t like seeing drivers receive the 10-grid-spot penalty for engine changes, especially when it was out of the team’s control,” Walker said. “With the help from our manufacturers, we are able to enhance our races without adding more confusion to the people who follow the sport.”