Indianapolis 500 Tuesday Practice Rained Out, Drivers Find Way to Spend Time

Ashley McCubbinAnalyst IMay 18, 2011

Ryan Briscoe last year in Toronto at the Honda Indy/(C)Ashley McCubbin
Ryan Briscoe last year in Toronto at the Honda Indy/(C)Ashley McCubbin

While most people were down that there was no practice on track yesterday at the Indianapolis 500, the drivers were able to find ways to spend time.

Penske Racing drivers Will Power and Ryan Briscoe spent some time with the fans, giving them credit for coming out during a day of bad weather.

"It is always great to be at Indy, just walking through the garage area and seeing the fans that show up braving the elements," Power said. "It is a shame that the weather hasn't been cooperating with us much this week. The Verizon guys have been staying busy preparing the car, and my engineer and I have had plenty of time to discuss our strategy moving forward. I am really looking forward to getting back on track."

"This weather has been a factor here at the Speedway, and even though I would rather be out on the track, it is really special just coming to the track every day," Briscoe said. "The fans are amazing. The fact that they show up in this damp, cold weather really shows how dedicated they are. Our No. 6 IZOD car is all polished up and ready to run. Now, we just need the weather to give us a chance so we can get out there and see what we can do."

For Townsend Bell, he tries to find ways to relax.

"You just kind of relax on a day like today," Bell stated. "It's a lot easier (not to run today) than Sunday, since I didn't get to run on Saturday. It's tough when you haven't run yet (like on Saturday) and it rains (on Sunday). You haven't even driven yet. At least we got some decent laps yesterday, and we know our cars are very strong. I'm quite a bit more at ease than I was on Sunday."

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Bell says, though, despite relaxing, you're always thinking about qualifying.

"I think because of the field this year, you're thinking about qualifying all the time," Bell added. "I think we're going to be good, but we haven't even gotten anywhere close to qualifying setup yet. I'm feeling very positive."

Meanwhile, Alex Tagliani isn't worried about having the quickest speed so far, and adds that less practice is sometimes a benefit.

"It's nice to see that our car is up to pace and we're on top of the chart so far for the week," he said. "Even if it's early, the weather plays a really important part. If you don't need to run very much, and your car is already right there, it's a relief for everyone on the team. The teams that are very concerned are the teams that have a plan to run many, many miles. The weather, obviously, makes them very frustrated and disappointed because it interferes with their plan.

"For us, we had a plan. We knew we weren't going to run the first day. The second day, we wanted to run, but it rained. The third day, we finally ran and were pleased with the number of laps we were able to run and the information we have."

If the weather holds off, teams will continue to practice each day this week from noon-6 pm EDT as they continue to prepare for Saturday's qualifying session.

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