Indianapolis 500: Weather Gives Drivers a Chance to Practice Their Planking

No NameAnalyst IMay 18, 2011

Ryan Briscoe
Ryan Briscoe

There were a lot of laps turned at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, none of them by an IndyCar though.

For the second straight day, and third of the past four days, the weather kept the drivers and cars from getting in some much needed practice. The jet dryers and safety vehicles circled the 2.5 mile speedway all afternoon, getting close several times before mother nature eventually won out.

It was no surprise that shortly after arriving to the garage area this morning, we learned that the Pit Stop Time Trials that were scheduled for 9am, were moved to Thursday. The rain came overnight, and a mist hung around for basically the entire day at IMS.

Teams and drivers once again played the waiting game. The track was nearly 100% dry around 2:30, as cars were taken to the pit area from Gasoline Alley. I made my way to pit lane, where we sat and eagerly awaited the green flag. It was announced that we would be going green in three minutes, before a light rain blew over the north end of the speedway.

After another near 30 minute delay, we were back in the same situation. This time, we were given the 1 minute until green indication, before heavier rain again hit turns three and four. At this point, it was nearly 4pm, as teams began taking their wet cars back to the garage area. The day was done.

Today was the third complete washout for practice so far in the five days that the teams have been here. We were able to get a few hours in on Opening Day before the rain came. Monday we had a full practice, but that is all we have been able to get in so far.

The next couple of days are going to be filled with action and teams are going to have to move quickly to make the necessary adjustments and changes to their cars.

There will be a flurry of activity on Thursday and Friday, as the teams will have just those two days before Pole Day arrives on Saturday. According to the forecast right now though, we could see a familiar sight for both qualification days this weekend. They are calling for a 40% chance of thunderstorms both days.

While the drivers couldn't do anything on the track, they still found plenty of things to keep them busy. The main thing that seems to have taken over most drivers, is the "art" of "Planking". According to most definitions, it is the act of lying face down with arms to the sides of the body, in unusual public spaces and photographing it.

Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, James Hinchcliffe, Tomas Sheckter, Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, Oriol Servia, Takuma Sato, EJ Viso, Alex Lloyd, and Dan Wheldon all found time to Plank today, and filled the Twitter world with their pictures. Most of them can be seen on, but they are posted all over the Twitter racing world as well.

As far as the funniest spots, that award will go to Sheckter, no surprise. As for the most impressive though, it has to go to Dixon, easily.

While Planking has taken over the world (or at least the inside of IMS) the drivers will be more focused on their cars tomorrow, as the sun might finally show it's face. The Pit Stop Time Trials will begin at 9am, and practice will start at noon, and run until 6pm.