IRL: 87th Indianapolis 500 three-week format announced

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2003 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced Jan. 29 the schedule for the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, with the traditional three-week format culminating in Race Day on May...

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2003 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced Jan. 29 the schedule for the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, with the traditional three-week format culminating in Race Day on May 25.

Opening Day is Sunday, May 4, with festivities centering on this year's race theme, "Art in Motion," and the first on-track practice of the event. Practice continues daily from May 5-9.

Qualification action starts on Saturday, May 10 with Pole Day. Drivers will compete for the coveted MBNA Pole Award and the accompanying $100,000 bonus and other prizes. Qualifications will continue with Second Day Qualifying on Sunday, May 11.

The Speedway will be closed to track activity May 12-13, but will re-open May 14-17 for four more days of practice leading up to the thrilling final day of qualifying, Bump Day, Sunday, May 18.

While there will be no IRL IndyCar Series on-track activity May 19-21, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway again will play host to the popular 500 Festival Community Day on Wednesday, May 21, featuring track laps for the public in their passenger cars, a driver autograph session and other family-oriented activities.

Carburetion Day, the final practice session for the starting field of 33, takes place Thursday, May 22. Fans also will see the action-packed Indy 500 Pit Stop Contest in which top race teams compete for the right to become "The Fastest Crew at Indy." Carb Day will end with the Carb Day Concert.

Race Day for the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be Sunday, May 25. The green flag for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" will drop at 11 a.m. (EST).

-ims-

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Series IndyCar