How does the IndyCar Points System work?

by The Earl of Indy, Robert Earl |

Short Answer: Points are awarded to the Driver based upon the finishing position. Bonus points are earned for leading the most laps, leading a lap, and for winning the pole.

Long Answer: Points are awarded based upon the position that the Driver finishes with 50 points for the winner, 40 for 2nd, 35 for 3rd, 4th is 32 and 5th through 10th places decrease by TWO points as the position works backwards. 11th place through 25th will receive ONE point less than the previous position. 25th through 33rd will get 5 points. (see chart below)

Credit: IndyCar

1st – 50 points
2nd – 40 points
3rd – 35 points
4th – 32 points
5th – 30 points
6th – 28 points
7th – 26 points
8th – 24 points
9th – 22 points
10th – 20 points
11th – 19 points
12th – 18 points
13th – 17 points
14th – 16 points
15th – 15 points
16th – 14 points
17th – 13 points
18th – 12 points
19th – 11 points
20th – 10 points
21st – 9 points
22nd – 8 points
23rd – 7 points
24th – 6 points
25th – 5 points
26th – 5 points
27th – 5 points
28th – 5 points
29th – 5 points
30th – 5 points
31st – 5 points
32nd – 5 points
33rd – 5 points

But wait, there is more…

Double Points

Double Points are awarded for 2 races. The Indianapolis 500 and the Season Ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

Bonus Points

The winner of the pole position gets a bonus of 1 point.

If a Driver leads a lap, they will get 1 point.

The Driver that leads the most laps will get 2 points.

So the maximum points a Driver can earn at a single points paying race is 54 if they win the pole position, lead a lap and lead the most laps and win the race.

Qualification for the Indianapolis 500 – Points

Those Drivers that qualify in the Firestone Fast Nine will be awarded points based upon their final qualification position. The fastest driver / pole position will be awarded 9 points, 2nd = 8 points with one less point per position with 9th place earning 1 point.

What happens if the driver that started the car has to be replaced in the middle of the race by another driver? Which Driver earns the points?

The Driver that started the car will be awarded the points. The relief Driver will not earn any points for driving the car, no matter how they finish. Only the original Driver will earn the points.

What happens if a Driver practices and/or participates in qualifications, but the car is not able to start the race?

The Driver will earn half of the points for the position that they could have finished in the race if they were in the last place. For example, if 21 other cars started the race and the car that did not start was the 22nd car, then the Driver would earn 4 points. (Half of the 8 points for 22nd place finish)

What happens if, after the last race of the season, two Drivers are tied in points?

The Driver with the most 1st place finishes in the year will be awarded the Championship. If the Drivers won the same number of races then they would look at the number of 2nd place finishes, then 3rd place finishes and so on until a champion is determined.

In 2015, Scott Dixon and Juan Pablo Montoya tied in points, with Dixon claiming the Championship because of more victories during the 2015 season.

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