Indianapolis 500: Cold and Rain Put Many Teams Behind the Eight Ball

No NameAnalyst IMay 18, 2011

Conway and Marco
Conway and Marco

It would be foolish to think that we could have warm and sunny weather every day at IMS, but this is getting ridiculous.

Once again, mother nature kept the cars in the garage for the most part today at the speedway.

Only 13 laps were turned on the day, by Andretti Autosport teammates Marco Andretti and Mike Conway. The speeds were no where near where they needed to be, and the day was pretty much another wash.

When I arrived in the garage area early this morning, most teams were optimistic that they could get out on the track if it warmed up. Firestone requires that the track temperature be at least 50 degrees before the cars can get up to the speeds they want.

It didn't get warm enough, and practice was ended early once again.

While Thursday and Friday look very good as far as the weather goes, tomorrow could be another iffy day for teams. It might be a bit warmer than it was today, but there is a chance for showers yet again, which would really make some teams very nervous.

Most of the teams have only had one day of good practice. If they can't get out on track tomorrow, that will leave them with just two days of practice time before qualifying begins on Saturday.

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Granted, there will be practice in the morning before qualifying starts, but they won't have much time to make any significant adjustments to their cars.

Marco Andretti voiced his displeasure with the weather, stating that with so much more competition this year, he is really worried about getting his Venom machine up to speed. He is not alone either, as most of the one-off/part time drivers and teams are searching frantically for speed.

As good as Penske has been in recent years, they are also a little off from where they would like to be. They aren't shaking in their boots yet, but they know they have a lot of work to do if they want to get their cars in the first two rows on Saturday.

The way things look right now, it would appear that former winners and Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti are the clear favorites. They have turned some of the fastest laps in practice, yet have only ran a very few number of laps.

We will keep our fingers crossed that tomorrow will give us more action than we got to see today. It should be a more frantic day, with teams taking advantage of the time they have on the track, as Pole Day is just three days away.

Tomorrow practice will begin at noon, but there will be pit stop competition qualifications before that. It will likely still be chilly when that takes place, but it will give us something to watch.


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