Here's how the Indianapolis Motor Speedway explains it:
11 am - 4 pm: The top 24 spots in the 33-car field will be available through traditional four-lap attempts. Each car will have up to three attempts during this time. The times of the top nine drivers from this first segment of qualifying will be erased at 4 pm, with all of those competitors guaranteed to start no worse than ninth in the Indianapolis 500. 4:30 - 6:00 pm: The "Fast Nine" then will be required to make at least one four-lap qualifying attempt, with optional attempts if time permits. Each driver's best run during the 90-minute session will set their position within the top nine spots on the starting grid. If inclement weather prevents the 90-minute shootout for the "Fast Nine," their times from the opening session will determine starting positions.
At this point, the starting lineup looks like this:
1. Alex Tagliani
2. Helio Castroneves
3. Dario Franchitti
4. Will Power
5. Scott Dixon
6. Graham Rahal
7. Hideki Mutoh
8. Ryan Briscoe
9. Ed Carpenter
Unless something dramatic happens in the next couple hours, these are the guys who will compete for the Fast Nine. But Ed Carpenter and Ryan Briscoe are the ones in danger of being bumped.
You can keep up to date with the starting lineup on the IndyCarNation.com website.
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