The Official Word From IndyCar
Mark Miles and Derrick Walker addressed the media regarding last-minute qualification changes. First, there will be no points awarded for qualifying as was done last year. That’s huge because there are enough points awarded for the pole-sitter and front row to significantly alter the point standings.
The rule that mandates all teams race with the aero setup they qualify with will now apply to all teams. Walker said that just because all three airborne crashes involved Chevy, that doesn’t mean that Honda doesn’t have a similar problem.
Again, here’s the latest revised schedule for this afternoon:
Today’s revised schedule:
1:30 – 2 p.m. – Group 1 practice
2 – 2:30 p.m. – Group 2 practice
*Note: No guaranteed green flag time
2:45 p.m. – Group 1 in tech line
3:15 p.m. – Group 2 in tech line
3:15 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 qualifications (all cars, one time through)
30 minutes following conclusion of qualifying – Group 2 qualifying (Pos. 31-33 and unqualified cars)
*Note: There will be no Fast Nine Shootout
Here is the full statement from IndyCar CEO, Mark Miles:
"This morning we saw a third car get into the wall, turn backward and lift into the air. We’ve said all along we want to go faster, but we want to do so safely.
"As a precautionary measure, INDYCAR will require that the cars qualify today in the same aero setup that they will run in the Indianapolis 500 next weekend. Also, for today, boost levels will return to race conditions. Given these changes, we have elected to not award points for today’s qualifications.
"Safety for drivers and fans is the top priority for INDYCAR and we will continue to be proactive in our research and development to improve all safety aspects of our sport."
I’ll let you digest this. Let’s just hope that amid all this craziness, that the rain will stay away long enough to fill the field. Looks like we’ll be getting home to Nashville later than planned tonight. But that pales in comparison to the problem faced by the slowest driver of the day. That person cannot retry and has to go home. Talk about pressure!
Check back later. Things are changing by the minute.