The 2022 Indianapolis 500 won’t include “Bump Day” in its qualifying weekend — with 33 cars in this year’s field, there’s no need for last-chance qualifying to compete for a spot on the grid. Without the stressful excitement of Bump Day, we can afford to look back in history at some of the best racing drivers in the world who failed to qualify for the Indy 500.
As modern IndyCar fans will know, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway can be a cruel mistress to even the finest drivers in the world. Recent drivers who got bumped off the grid on Bump Day include Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso and current IndyCar championship contender Patricio O’Ward.
Sometimes, the car is bad. Sometimes, the driver just can’t get it together. Sometimes, an outside factor like bad weather ends a session before a driver can get a shot on the track. Let’s take a look back at those moments, and investigate how these world-class drivers failed to earn a spot at The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.