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Rain Cancels Indianapolis 500 Practice on Sunday

May 15, 2011

Photo courtesy of Steve Swope



SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 15, 2011) – The second day of practice for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 was washed out Sunday by persistent rain, leaving Team Penske and the rest of the field just five critical days of practice before Saturday’s pole qualifying.

The team got off to a good start Saturday during a rain-shortened practice session, recording three laps among the top-15 in routine shakedowns of backup cars. The rain continued Sunday morning and track activity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was cancelled shortly after 1 p.m. ET without a car turning a wheel.

"It's really too bad that we didn't get a chance to run today in the Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra car,” said Helio Castroneves, who will be looking to tie the all-time record of four Indy 500 victories on Memorial Day weekend. “We were certainly looking forward to putting in some laps in the primary car today, but hopefully we'll get that chance tomorrow. We did get to spend some more time with the fans today and that was great. It's one of the cool things about racing here in Indianapolis – even though it rained all day there were still a lot of people out here. We look forward to putting on a good show for them the rest of the month."

Ryan Briscoe had the top lap of all three Team Penske cars on Saturday, before rain brought an early end to the opening day of practice.

"I was really looking forward to getting back in the No. 6 IZOD Team Penske car today to continue checking items off our list, but the weather just wouldn't cooperate with us,” said Briscoe. “My engineer, Eric Cowdin, and I were able to spend some time talking about what we'd like to accomplish when we do get back out there. I feel bad for the fans, especially. There were a lot of people here at the Speedway looking forward to seeing some cars on track today. Hopefully, we'll be able to get back out there on Monday."

IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Will Power will try to secure his fifth consecutive pole to start the season in Indy 500 qualifying next weekend.

"It's unfortunate for us and for the fans that the rain kept us from getting on track today,” said Power, who turned only 15 laps on Saturday. “The No. 12 Verizon Team Penske guys worked a bit late yesterday afternoon taking the engine out of our T car and putting it in our race car. We were planning on shaking that car down today and then getting started on our process. We will be ready to go tomorrow and I am excited to get on track and get the Verizon car up to speed."

Practice is scheduled to resume Monday at 12 p.m. ET. Pole qualifying will begin at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, May 21 with the Indy 500 set to take the green flag at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 29, live on ABC-TV.