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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • David Judson
    Contributor

    29 years old, Dave Judson lives in Mentor, Ohio. Dave has grown up with racing, watching his father win races and championships at the local go-kart track as a youngster and continuing his love of racing while watching NASCAR, Indycar, Formula 1 and sports cars.
    Judson has enjoyed a successful sim-racing career of his own in the IZOD Indycar iRacing Open and Fixed Setup Series. He has race wins to his credits as well as the Division 1 Championship of the Open Series in Season 1 of 2013 and the Overall Championship of the Fixed Series in Season 3 of 2013.
    Dave has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and is looking to expand his horizons by writing for inRacingNews.

  • Matt A Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Kingsbury lives in Fairfield, Connecticut where he currently attends Sacred Heart University. He is a fan of any form of racing, from NASCAR to IndyCar, Formula 1, and especially endurance racing. The summer of 2013 saw Kingsbury attend IndyCar's return to Pocono Raceway as well as the ARCA race at Pocono which Corey Lajoie won and got some pictures (including the accompanying mug shot) in Victory Lane thanks to his aunt!

  • Raymond Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Ray Kingsbury is a motorsport enthusiast and full-time university student, born and raised in Connecticut. He started his own racing career in BMX, riding bicycles competitively on the state level. In eight years he claimed the state championship and was ranked nationally before moving away from the sport. This void of activities led him to rediscover sim-racing in the form of NASCAR Heat. After a championship in the game's most competitive league Kingsbury started focusing full-time on his involvement in Live for Speed. There he founded Last Lap Motorsports which today has more than 20 members worldwide.

    When a few Last Lap Motorsports members decided to give iRacing.com a chance to feed their desire for more oval racing, Ray teamed with his brother Matt, Nathan Lamothe and newcomer Jimmie Jones to enter the ETV! Live Team Series and claimed the title after a dominating performance at Watkins Glen. To this day the team continues in both Live for Speed and iRacing.com and Ray still takes much delight in his own sim-racing career. A reporter for his high school newspaper before moving to university, Kingsbury keeps-up his writing activities by contributing to iRacing News.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Jordan Hightower
    Contributor

    Jordan began sim-racing in 2005 with the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season sim and then joined the iRacing community in June of 2008. He hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas where he is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, after which he plans to attend the University of Arkansas to earn his MBA. Although he enjoys watching and playing basketball, most of Jordan's focus is on motorsports, particularly NASCAR: "Anything that burns gas and goes fast, I like."

  • Scott Kelly
    Contributor

    Born and raised in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, Scott Kelly has had a love for motorsports ever since his father did the right thing by introducing auto racing into his life. No longer able to quench his need for speed by spectating NASCAR races on TV and watching dirt track stars slide around local tracks, Kelly eventually picked-up sim racing in his teens, wheeling cars found in Ratbag Games' "Dirt Track Racing" and "World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars" while also becoming introduced into multiple Papyrus sim-racing series. Joining the iRacing ranks in late 2011, Kelly set his sights on the short track racing he was familiar with, focusing on the sprint car, while also driving the Legends and street stock in multiple iRacing.com leagues.

    Kelly brings not just his enthusiasm for racing to the highest-rated motorsports simulation, but also his B.A. degree in English; he covers the action seen in the iRacing.com Sprint Car Series, while also placing the spotlight on various leagues within the service. Enjoying his start to a career in motorsports journalism, Kelly also doesn't mind visiting victory lane from time-to-time.

  • George Wood
    Contributing Writer
    After beginning his racing career with go-karts at age seven, George then turned wrenches on street stocks until he could finally turn the wheel. Following the successes of his friends and family, George has since retired from real-world racing, where he is now a science and mathematics faculty member for several local community colleges. When George isn't grading laboratory reports or iRacing, he is performing at bluegrass festivals in the Northeast, making fishing lures, playing golf, and rooting for his beloved Baltimore Orioles.
  • Chris Hall
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Chris Hall has been writing since the nineties and moved into motorsports reporting in 2005, covering series such as ALMS, British GT, FIA GT, Le Mans and 2CV racing for Full Throttle magazine, Motorsport.com, The-Paddock.net, GTGateway.com, L' Endurance and, of course, inRacingNews. During 2008 and 2009, he worked with the RSS Performance Porsche Carrera Cup Team (and former British GT(C) champions) as a data engineer for a variety of drivers and models of 997s.
  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Dylan Sharman
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in Adelaide and we moved-out for Angle Vale for a few years until I was about 7 years old, when we moved to the Barossa Valley where I live now. I'm 19 years old and currently traveling back and forth weekly as I'm studying for a Diploma of Furniture Design and Technology.

    I've always had a love for racing as my close family did some racing and we were always out at the local dirt track. I joined iRacing back in 2010 and slowly but surely got the hang of it as this is my first experience with sim racing and am loving it each time I race. I've won two SK Modified titles (almost had three in a row but finished P2 in 2011 S4), an iRacingNews Challenge championship (2012 S1 Mazda) and was also an AustralAsian Intel GT Series Finalist.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Day Of Speed: Indy’s Pole Day Evolves To Include Fast Nine Run Off

May 18th, 2010

FAST TIMES: Helio Castroneves earned his third Indianapolis 500 pole in 2009, the 15th for team owner Roger Penske. (Ginny Heithaus Photo)

As the Indianapolis Motor Speedway rolls out its new qualification format for the 94th Indianapolis 500 it is more “evolutionary” than “revolutionary.”

Qualification rules have changed dramatically since that first Indianapolis 500 in 1911 when Lewis Strang was awarded the pole based on the date when he mailed in his entry for the race. Qualifying for that first race was a matter of the driver reaching 75 miles per hour from a flying start on a quarter-mile stretch of the main straightaway. Each driver was given three attempts to reach 75 mph and when 40 drivers succeeded, the order of the starting lineup was based on the date the entry was received.

The pole didn’t matter because Ray Harroun won the race after starting 28th.

In 1912, 75 mph still was the qualifying minimum, but a full-speed lap was required. Entry arrival still determined the pole for the 24 drivers who met the requirement. Gil Anderson received the honor, but Joe Dawson won after starting seventh.

In 1913 and 1914, the pole was awarded by a draw. It wasn’t until 1915 when the pole went to the fastest driver among those who met the minimum speed, so Howdy Wilcox was the first official pole winner based on speed. He finished seventh as second-place starter Ralph DePalma won the race.

Johnny Aitken earned the pole in 1916 as a first-day qualifier. The qualifying method was altered to make qualifiers on succeeding days start behind those who went first. The starting field was expanded to a maximum of 33 cars in 1915, but it wasn’t until 1919 that it was filled.

The four-lap qualifying concept, still used today, was introduced in 1920. Ralph DePalma became the first to grab the pole on a four-lap run, averaging 99.15 mph. However, only 23 cars made the 80-mph minimum.

In 1933, a new qualifying format was designed to send the cars around the 2.5-mile oval 10 times — 25 miles. The catch was that it had to be done with only three gallons of fuel. The 10-lap qualifying format stayed in effect until 1938. Qualifying returned to four laps in 1939 and remains today.

From 1998-2000, qualifying was trimmed to one weekend. In 2001, qualifying returned to two weekends. However, there was no qualifying on the Saturday of the second weekend. Sunday was Bump Day.

There also has been qualifying at 5 a.m. on race day, in the 1920s. The number of cars allowed in the field has deviated from the standard 33 twice since the end of World War II, as 35 cars started in 1979 and 1997.

In 2005, Speedway officials created a new format with bumping on each of the four qualifying days and 11 spots available on each of the first three days of qualifying.

The latest change in qualifications was announced in April when IMS officials reduced the schedule by one full week, cutting out two rounds of qualifications. With Pole Day scheduled for May 22 and Bump Day May 23, a new twist was added to this year’s qualifications.

The first 24 positions on the starting grid will be filled on Pole Day with the final nine positions filled on Bump Day. The times of the top nine drivers from the first segment of qualifying will be erased at 4 p.m., with all of those competitors guaranteed to start no worse than ninth in the Indy 500.

The Fast Nine will be required to make at least one four-lap qualifying attempt between 4:30 and 6 p.m., with one additional, optional attempt 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.

The winner of the Peak Performance Pole Award presented by AutoZone will earn $175,000, an increase of $75,000 from 2009. The second-fastest qualifier will earn $75,000, with the final front-row starter earning $50,000.

It’s the latest attempt by race officials to provide more action and drama in qualifications for the Indy 500.

“I know a lot of traditionalists including myself that have always enjoyed the lore and the history of Indianapolis; what it has meant to us, how you go through practice, qualifying and the race,” said Target Chip Ganassi Racing Managing Director Mike Hull. “Prior to this announcement there have been a lot of changes in the format at Indianapolis. I think this is one of the most positive steps they have made because Indianapolis has always meant the best of the best performing in front of a live audience.

“What we are going to get to see are the best drivers supported by the best crew members fighting it out in a place where true speed for four laps determines where you start the race.”

Rick Mears is the all-time pole winner in Indy 500 history with six poles when the four-time Indy 500 winner was an active driver at Team Penske. He was a master of the old, traditional format of qualifications and believes the new format is a matter of keeping up with the times.

“I think it will be good entertainment — a good show,” Mears said. “From a driver’s standpoint it gets everybody under the same conditions by running at the same time. I loved qualifying at Indy. That was one of my favorite things to do. But I hated the wait. I hated the pulling out of line and waiting for the wind to die down or the weather to get cooler. I wanted to go when it was time to go because you have been gearing up all month for that.

“From that standpoint it’s good, too. It takes that out of the equation of playing the game and guessing right. To me it puts it back into the driver’s hands because it’s the same time, same conditions. Having to do it more than once, that’s another story. But that’s part of the pressure. Qualifying at Indy is all about pressure. It’s the toughest thing we do.”

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