Qualifying for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race was slated to begin this morning at 11:00. That got bumped to 11:45 due to some early morning precipitation. The track was well dried by mid-morning as all of the teams took to the track for practice, but the start time for qualifying runs continued to be pushed back until 12:25pm when Dale Coyne Racing driver Carlos Huertas finally took his #18 machine out to give Race Director Brian Barnhart “four good ones.” Carlos and Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay, winner of last year’s race, were the only two drivers to set qualifying times. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon took the green flag for his qualifying run, but only was able to complete a single lap before the day-ending rains came.
The cancellation of track activities for today means that tomorrow is all the more important as all 33 slots will be filled in three short hours between 10:00am and 1:00pm. The fastest nine drivers will then enter a shootout for the pole position at 1:45pm. It will be a tight schedule, and with more rain likely for tomorrow afternoon, it’s not certain that we’ll get the field qualified.
I made it to the track just in time to see the end of final practice after traveling through four states beginning on Friday afternoon, but not in time enough to capture any images. With not much action on track, and rains chasing away most of the fans, I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to collect as many images as I’d hoped. Here’s what I have, though, and there will be more tomorrow.