Indianapolis 500: Opening Day Could Be Quiet on Track, Not in Garage Area

No NameAnalyst IMay 13, 2011

Rain Rain, Go Away
Rain Rain, Go Away

The past five days in Indianapolis have been in the mid 80s with sunshine. Beginning tonight, the rain moves in and the temperature drops back into the 60s and 50s. Typical Indiana weather.

While the threat of rain on Saturday and Sunday could prevent the cars and drivers from getting some much needed practice, there will be plenty of action to make up for it in the garage area. Today the teams moved into their workshops, where there will be plenty of things going on, rain or shine.

Last year's Opening Day was very similar to what we could see tomorrow. There were small showers off and on all day. At times it was frustrating, as the cars would just hit the track, and the yellow would come right back out. While it can be frustrating for us fans, think of how the teams and drivers feel.

Tomorrow's schedule is for the veterans to practice from noon until 2 p.m., while the rookies get the track for the remaining four hours.

With the threat of rain all day, it will be interesting to see how things shake out. Less track time could mean trouble for some teams, especially considering the fact that there are 41 car/driver combinations gunning for the 33 spots on Race Day.

Some people often wonder what the teams and drivers do when it is raining. Unlike NASCAR, where everyone basically just sits around, the IndyCar teams and drivers will be hard at work in the garage area.

Teams will be able to work on the cars, getting their setup ready, and communicating with the drivers on what they want.

Who gets the advantage if they cars don't get much time out on the track?

There is a more complicated answer, but basically, the top teams (Penske/Ganassi/Andretti) will have the advantage because they know the setups that work, and they know how the track will be changing.

Those teams that have experience and knowledge about the speedway will have the upper hand. The one-off teams and the part-timers will struggle the most if they don't get enough track time.

While there is a lot of serious hard work going on in most garages, you can also find those that are more relaxed and looking to unwind a little. My goal is to find a mixture of both of these this weekend. With the grey clouds surrounding the track, I plan on spending the majority of my time inside the garage.

There are some interesting people to meet, and the stories they tell are even more incredible. If given permission from the people I talk to, I will have some of them posted here on Bleacher Report throughout the weekend.

I will finish up my packing in the next few minutes, then check the radar one more time before getting some much needed sleep.

I will provide updates tomorrow morning when I get to the speedway, and you can also watch for my updates on Twitter @IndyCarChad.