IndyCar – Pole Speed Predictions: We Set the Line

For the past three years, the race at the Kansas Speedway has preceded the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. I started to notice a trend, and thought I’d explore it further. Yes, I hear you statisticians out there, three data points does not make a statistically significant sample. Well, I’m running with it anyway. I thought I’d look back at the races since 2001 and see if there was a relationship between the speeds we see at Kansas and the speeds we see at Indianapolis. Sure enough, after deftly applying various data analysis tools to the meager nine-element data set, I came up with a function that gave a decent-to-the-eye fit to the data. Ok, the term “deftly apply” is used much in the same way the Mafia would used the term “gently persuaded”. It got a bit ugly. The important part is the result, though. The official line for the 2010 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race pole-setting speed is 226.871 mph! So what do you say? Are you taking overs or unders? is not a gambling site, the information above is for entertainment purposes only. Any money sent to will not be viewed as a genuine over/under bet but as a generous contribution to our beer and whiskey fund.

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7 Thoughts to “IndyCar – Pole Speed Predictions: We Set the Line

  1. Higher. Going with 229. Speeds are quick already. It will come down to the weather.

  2. Just remember that speeds can often be faster in practice for a single lap with a tow.

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  4. Shaun

    A lot of data pointed towards cars at 227 with tow…I think the best non tow was a 225…don’t quote me on

  5. I take the under. 225-226 is where I expect it this year. Saturday will see a high around 78F. Cooler track temps = faster speeds. If it does get up to 78, the track temp isn’t going to be the most conducive for quick times.

    But we have to qualify pole speed. Pole will be set between 4:30-6:00pm. This time of year, that will be close to the warmest part of the day. I’m guessing the quickest times may be set when the gun goes off around noon…..

  6. Alan Turner

    Gotta go with the 225 – 226 range also. For some reason the tow seems to be having a very positive effect on speeds which is why novice viewers may be surprised. Then again,it is Indy…..


    I’d be interested in seeing your raw data. It sounds like you could get a job as a pro global warming climatologist with your ability to “deftly applying various data analysis tools”. 🙂

  7. Alan,

    I simply took the published pole speeds at the two venues and found a 3rd-order polynomial that correlated the two. Its super ugly stuff, but it was a fun way to make a prediction. We’ll see if it pans out. I’m optimistic that it will be close, but I certainly would make a genuine over/under bet on it.

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