Qualifying Currently On Hold At IMS

Welcome to a cold, dark and soon to be wet Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We actually arrived on the grounds around 9:00, but we made a quick run through the garage area before getting up to the Media Center where I can actually type.

It’s a good thing too. Although it was a cool and brisk wind blowing, the skies were not threatening. About ten minutes before qualifying runs were to commence at 11:00, IndyCar officials decided to postpone things. They made the right call. Just after 11:00, lightning was striking around the Speedway and the skies opened up. Based on the current radar, it’s going to be a while before any cars run today. That dot is me. There is no window over Terre Haute this time.


There was a practice this morning that saw only a handful of cars (eight) take advantage of. Gabby Chaves was the fastest this morning, with a speed of 228.160 mph. Graham Rahal was just behind at 228.007.

The quick trip through the garage area showed that the Juncos Racing team had completed their repair job on the car of Spencer Pigot. As I’m sure most of you know – Pigot crashed in Turn Two yesterday and did some heavy damage to the car. Pigot was unhurt, but you couldn’t say the same about the car. The good news is that it sounds like they will be ready to run today as soon as the rain stops.


The Foyt team isn’t so lucky. Late in yesterday’s practice session, Zach Veach had a spectacular crash that featured lots of sparks. Veach was also unhurt, but apparently the car is so badly damaged that they are saying the car will not be ready at any time today. They are probably one of the few folks here that are happy for this current downpour.

I normally try not to gloat, but there are times when I’m really glad to have access to the IMS Media Center. Today is one of them. Other than writing, I don’t spend a whole lot of time in here. I prefer to be out in the crowd getting as close to race cars as possible. But in this downpour, I’m glad to have a quiet and dry place to go. Susan took these pictures looking out over those that aren’t as lucky.



With so much aluminum everywhere, they have to  clear the stands when lightning is in the area. But where is everyone to go? No offense, but I’m glad I’m not down there.

As I type it is still raining, but the skies have brightened somewhat. But even if it stops right now, we would still be looking at a two hour drying time at a minimum.

I’ll be back here at some point – depending on exactly how much, if anything, is going on. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter at @Oilpressureblog or Susan at @MrsOilpressure for photos, comments or anything else we may find interesting. Please check back later.

George Phillips

10 Responses to “Qualifying Currently On Hold At IMS”

  1. Matt B. (Dayton, OH) Says:

    Thanks for the update George. I’m biding my time in Dayton trying to decide if I’m heading the track today.

  2. Great work George. Enjoy your dedication and updates!

  3. I think I had rather be at a rainy qualifying day at IMS than many, many other places.

  4. I spent many rainy days at IMS during my years covering the race, most of those loooong hours inside the last door on the right of the photo of the people above under the shelter of the stands that were not there in the 70s, 80s and 90s. In fact, I spent from Tuesday of the first week of practice through the fourth day of qualifying living in that AP office and darkroom.
    Rainy days at IMS were very depressing.

  5. Ron Ford Says:

    Have you heard anythng about Seb’s condition yet?

    • tonelok Says:

      At 5:48 MDT still nothing. I don’t know about you Ron but that scared the crap out of me. I had a brief Gordon Smiley nightmare flash in front of my eyes for a split second. I hope he is ok. I am afraid of a broken leg or a pelvis possibly?

  6. tonelok Says:

    Any rants on ABC cutting coverage as 13 cars still have to qualify on Saturday? Right now if you want to watch those cars trying to qualify you will not be able to visually watch them – all you can do is listen to it on IMS radio. Thanks ABC you suck as usual.

    • billytheskink Says:

      The ABC coverage was shifted to ESPNews (which, to be fair, has somewhat limited penetration), where they ran through the remainder of qualifying with no commercial interruption. I’m not sure ABC/ESPN more than fulfilling their contract with the series is rant-worthy. Scott Goodyear’s use of the word “waddle”, on the other hand…

  7. Ed Emmitt Says:

    Kinda odd that we haven’t heard anything about Sea-Bass yet.

    ABC switched to ESPN News as Rossi waited to go out.

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