Opening Day of practice for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 will have to wait until Wednesday. Rain showers hovered around the speedway all day and forced the cancelation of Tuesday’s on-track activities. The rain ceased just after noon and the track crews were able to get the track dry just in time for teams to hit pit lane. One minute from the green flag to start practice, more rain began falling on the track.
The revised schedule for Wednesday will give all teams and drivers five minutes to do installation laps, beginning at 10:00 AM ET. At 10:15 the track will belong to RC Enerson and Abel Motorsports, as he must complete his Rookie Orientation Program before he is able to practice with the rest of the field. He will have until noon to complete the three-step program, then all cars will be able to practice until 6 PM when the track closes for the day.
The last time an Indy 500 practice day was completely washed out was May 18 of last year. This is only the third time in the last seven years that an entire day of practice was lost due to rain. The weather forcast for the rest of the week looks much better, with a busy Wednesday and Thursday before the extra boost is added on Fast Friday.
There are 34 entries that will be competing for the 33 starting spots in this years race. There are nine former winners on the entry list, one shy of the all-time record of ten set back in 1992. Four drivers will be competing for Rookie of the Year in Agustín Canapino, Benjamin Pedersen, Sting Ray Robb, and Enerson.
Defending winner Marcus Ericsson will try to become the first driver since Helio Castroneves in 2002 to win back-to-back. A bonus of $420,000 awaits if he is able to pull it off. Castroneves is trying to become the first driver to win five Indy 500 races while Scott Dixon is in pursuit of the all-time Poles record. If he is able to tie Rick Mears for that record this month, he will be the first driver to ever win three poles in a row.