IndyCar introduces double points for 500-mile races

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    Keith Collantine

    IndyCar has doubled points for the three 500-mile events on its 18-race schedule including the Indianapolis 500. The double points races will be the Indianapolis 500 in May, the Pocono round and the season finale at Fontana.

    Points for regular races will remain as follows:


    Points for the three 500-mile races will become:


    Yes the ’19’ for 21st place caught my eye too. I suspect it may be a typo in the press release.

    Points will also be awarded for qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 as follows with 33 for the pole sitter descending in one-point increments to one point for 33rd place. A further bonus will be awarded to the top nine qualifiers as follows:


    This all seems far more complicated than it needs to be. As the IndyCar championship has gone down to the final race in many of the last seasons (I’ll have to look it up) it doesn’t really seem necessary.

    At least IndyCar’s double points idea has a sporting rationale behind it, unlike F1’s. And it goes some way towards addressing the imbalance of there not being enough oval races on the schedule at the moment.


    Keith Collantine

    OK, 2005 (pre-reunification) was the last time the IndyCar championship failed to go down to the final round.


    Craig Woollard

    It is unnecessary. However, it’s infinitely better than the double points in F1. Because each of the 500-milers all are pretty special, and… Well… Longer, it’s not so bad, as oppose to Abu Double.


    George O’Donnell

    Not a fan. There’s very good rationale for introducing double points for the Indy 500 but not so much the others.


    Keith Collantine

    Some pertinent data – the lengths of last year’s races (in km). Pocono was a 400-miler last year but will be 500 this year so all the double points races will be significantly longer than the other rounds:

    St Petersburg – 318
    Barber Motorsport Park – 333
    Long Beach  – 253
    Sao Paulo  – 306
    Indianapolis  – 804
    Detroit 1 – 264
    Detroit 2 – 264
    Texas  – 533
    Milwaukee  – 408
    Iowa  – 359
    Pocono  – 643
    Toronto 1 – 240
    Toronto 2 – 240
    Mid-Ohio  – 327
    Sonoma  – 326
    Baltimore  – 246
    Houston 1 – 236
    Houston 2 – 236
    Fontana  – 804


    Antonio Nartea

    There’s very good rationale for introducing double points for the Indy 500 but not so much the others.

    I’m guessing it’s related to the Triple-Crown promotion they reinserted last year. If you think of it like that and add the fact that all Indianapolis, Pocono, and Fontana are all special racetracks in their own way, it’s still much more rational than what F1 does.



    I don’t watch Indycar, I’ve got to say this is a far more sensible idea than F1 though. I would even go so far as to say evening up the points difference between road and oval is a good idea.



    If I recall correctly, USAC and CART had a points structure that was linked to the race length in the 1970s and 80s

    The 1980 CART system for example:


    Adam Blocker

    I am actually in favour of this for the Indy 500.

    I think the other two shouldn’t be worth as much as the Indy 500, but it is okay to make them
    more valuable than the shorter rounds. I think a 3/2 point system for Fontana and Pocono would be


    Well, given that the Indy 500 is the one race that the entire IndyCar Series concept is based on, I can sort of understand this.



    I propose something similar ever since the double points were introduced in F1.

    I wanted the last round to be a double-header, Race 1, Race 2, but the extra length is also an interesting – and valid – concept.

    Much more fair than the F1 solution.

    (I even wrote a letter to Ferrari before the February voting on our double points rule to consider the abnove proposal.)



    I think thats a fair reason for double points, they are all significantly longer than the rest of the races and thus prestige positions.

    On the double points theme, not sure if its been advertised but at the Australian Grand Prix, the V8 Supercars did double points for the final race (4 race minicompetion, not championship points) and Shane VanGisbergen who had won all the other three races ended up 5th in the championship because he dropped down the field to about 12th from memory.

    That shows what a farce double points can be, obviously it won’t be quite as bad as this in F1 because there’s 18 other races not 3 but still.

    Got slightly off topic but still, I think the Indy Car idea is a fair one.



    I like the idea, although as I alluded to on Twitter, it means that Will Power has no chance at that title shot now ;)

    Also for those saying that Indy needs more points. Indyt gets more anyway as you get Quali points there, which you don’t at the other two 500 milers which is somewhere around 1/3 to 1/10 extra (depending on your quali position) on top of your race points



    Will Power won at Fontana last year ;-)

    For what it’s worth the 2013 title battle wouldn’t have turned out any different with this points system. Dixon takes it by the same margin over Castroneves.


    Piotr Koteryl

    I reckon if F1 had double points at prestigious races such as Monaco, Monza, (Silverstone?) and Spa, as well as the season-ending race (wherever that is), it could work quite nicely. To be perfectly frank, I don’t understand or agree with the hostility to having double points at all! One of the things that has turned a lot of people off F1 recently is the lack of spectacle – hopefully this will rectify things!

    I know I won’t be popular for saying this, but this is my opinion. I think that IndyCar has the right idea in having several races with double points, and I would happily see F1 adopting a similar strategy.

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