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Practice rainout forces Indianapolis 500 teams to adjust

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, May 17, 2016) – Verizon IndyCar Series teams were forced to adjust their preparations for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil following cancellation of practice today because of rain.

The official call to end the day came at 2:45 p.m. ET, with no laps turned and the track still wet from lingering light rain. It was the first Indianapolis 500 practice day to be completely washed out since May 18, 2011.

Three full days of practice remain before qualifying to set the 33-car field for the historic race. Practice is scheduled from noon-6 p.m. ET WednesdayThursday and Friday.

Teams will use those remaining hours of track time to the fullest to be ready for the two days of qualifying this weekend. Some, according to 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, will feel compelled to squeeze more track activity in since today’s time was lost.

“For sure, you’ll see that tomorrow,” said Kanaan, driver of the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. “People will be out there a lot more. You saw all 33 cars on the track yesterday, which was remarkably surprising, to be honest. I think it will speed up things.

“You don’t want to sit at a racetrack and not get to run,” Kanaan added. “But in the next four days combined we’ll have more practice than we do at all the other races. It’s one less day but it (saves) tires, so we can do more work tomorrow as long as the weather is better for the next few days – and it looks like it is. It’s just boring to sit and look at the track and not do anything.”

Larry Foyt, team president at AJ Foyt Racing that is fielding cars for Jack Hawksworth, Takuma Sato and Alex Tagliani for the race, called the washout “a bummer” but said his team would adjust accordingly.

“We’re in a situation where we’re trying to mileage out an engine (on one car) and get that out of the way, but you’re kind of used to (rain) here,” Foyt said. “It’s not too bad because it’s early on (in the week). You can massage on everything and make sure everything is perfect before you get into your programs. We all want track time, but you can’t do anything about the weather.”

Practice sessions will be streamed live at Qualifying will air Saturday on ESPN3 (11 a.m.-3 p.m. ET) and ABC (4-6 p.m. ET) and Sunday on ESPN3 (2-4 p.m. ET) and ABC (4-6 p.m. ET). Coverage of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 begins at 11 a.m. ET May 29 on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Hot Wheels commemorates 100th running with trophy of iconic toy cars

Hot Wheels, the iconic maker of scale die-cast toy cars for nearly a half-century, is helping commemorate the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 by unveiling today the Hot Wheels Indy 500 Championship Trophy.

Based on the famed Borg-Warner Trophy that features the likeness of every Indianapolis 500 race winner, the Hot Wheels trophy celebrates the past 99 Indy 500s with Hot Wheels vehicles that draw inspiration from the stories, colors and numbers of the winning drivers and cars from each year.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion from Andretti Autosport, introduced the Hot Wheels trophy. It will be part of the Hot Wheels Race to Win exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis from May 31-Aug. 13. The trophy will be at the Hot Wheels display in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Fan Zone from May 25 through the race on May 29.

“My first experience with racing was with Hot Wheels cars. I remember zipping cars down the orange track and now I watch my two sons do the same,” Hunter-Reay said. “Sharing stories from past races with my kids opens up a conversation about hard work, competition and my passion for racing.”

Standing approximately 9 feet tall, the Hot Wheels Indy 500 Championship Trophy has 99 one-64th scale cars representing each of the previous Indianapolis 500 races. The base of the trophy is wrapped with the famed Hot Wheels orange track representing the competition that runs through every car.

Andretti wins Mario Kart showdown during rain delay

Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Conor Daly, Spencer Pigot, Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti didn’t get to drive on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval today due to the rainout. That didn’t stop them from racing.

The foursome spent part of the rain delay competing in a “friendly” game of Mario Kart in the driver motorcoach area. Daly, driver of the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda, said Andretti, pilot of the Andretti Autosport No. 27 Snapple Honda, came away victorious, since “his (grandfather’s) name is on the game.”

“He is really good at it, too,” Daly added.

What’s in a name? A lot for Clauson’s dog

Bryan Clauson’s popular pup has a new name while the Dale Coyne/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing driver is competing at the Indianapolis 500.

Chevy Clauson, a Jack Russell terrier who has earned her own social media fan following at the short tracks where Clauson races regularly, “announced” on Twitter that her naming rights had been purchased for two weeks since he is driving a Honda-powered entry in his bid to race in the Indy 500 a third time.

“I’ll only respond to Honda Clauson,” the tweet from @ChevyClauson read.

Bryan Clauson said calling his dog a new name was the idea of his fiancée, Lauren Stewart.

“I’m in a Honda and we certainly didn’t want anyone to think that she was supporting the competition,” he said. “She’s definitely supporting her dad.”