INDIANAPOLIS – Verizon IndyCar Series teams were forced to adjust their preparations for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil following cancellation of practice today because of rain.
The official call to end the day came at 2:45 p.m. ET, with no laps turned and the track still wet from lingering light rain. It is the first Indianapolis 500 practice day to be completely washed out since May 18, 2011.
Three full days of practice remain before qualifying to set the 33-car field for the historic race. Practice is scheduled from noon-6 p.m. ET Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Teams will use those remaining hours of track time to the fullest to be ready for the two days of qualifying this weekend. Some, according to 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, will feel compelled to squeeze more track activity in since today’s time was lost.
“For sure, you’ll see that tomorrow,” said Kanaan, driver of the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing. “People will be out there a lot more. You saw all 33 cars on the track yesterday, which was remarkably surprising, to be honest. I think it will speed up things.
“You don’t want to sit at a racetrack and not get to run,” Kanaan added. “But in the next four days combined we’ll have more practice than we do at all the other races. It’s one less day but it (saves) tires, so we can do more work tomorrow as long as the weather is better for the next few days – and it looks like it is. It’s just boring to sit and look at the track and not do anything.”
Larry Foyt, team president at AJ Foyt Racing that is fielding cars for Jack Hawksworth, Takuma Sato and Alex Tagliani for the race, called the washout “a bummer” but said his team would adjust accordingly.
“We’re in a situation where we’re trying to mileage out an engine (on one car) and get that out of the way, but you’re kind of used to (rain) here,” Foyt said. “It’s not too bad because it’s early on (in the week). You can massage on everything and make sure everything is perfect before you get into your programs. We all want track time, but you can’t do anything about the weather.”
Practice sessions will be streamed live at RaceControl.IndyCar.com. Qualifying will air Saturday on ESPN3 (11 a.m.-3 p.m. ET) and ABC (4-6 p.m. ET) and Sunday on ESPN3 (2-4 p.m. ET) and ABC (4-6 p.m. ET). Coverage of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 begins at 11 a.m. ET May 29 on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.