Run for the pole position now on Sunday as 33-driver field to be set in one day
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 16, 2015) – Unfortunately rain was the winner Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as qualifications were washed out for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race set for May 24.
Entire 33-driver field will be established Sunday with qualifying beginning at 10 a.m. EDT and the Fast 9 run for the pole position scheduled for 1:45 p.m. with ABC-TV televising live.
The 34-car lineup was split into two groups for practice Saturday morning before some light rain hit the famed 2.5-mile oval before noon.
Qualifying then started at 12:25 p.m. with Carlos Huertas and defending Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay recording four-lap average speeds. However, a heavy downpour followed their qualifying attempts and Verizon IndyCar Series officials halted activities for the day.
Earlier in the practice rounds, Townsend Bell clocked his fastest speed of the week with a 230.476 mile per hour lap in the Robert Graham Special. The overcast skies helped many drivers exceed the 230 m.p.h. range Saturday morning including Helio Castroneves with a best speed of 233.474.
Bell seemed pleased with his morning laps but hopes for higher temperatures Sunday to increase his chances of making the Fast 9.
“We ran two qualifying stints this morning to get our balance squared away and the car felt good,” said Bell, seeking his ninth Indy 500 starting position Sunday. “To be honest, I’m not too disappointed we got rained out. Our car really works well when we have hotter conditions and Sunday is expected to be warmer than today. I just feel badly for the fans who came to see the qualifying. Hopefully everyone can make it out to see the run for the Fast 9 and the pole.”
The Robert Graham Special has been consistently in the top-ten in the speed charts this week at Indy and Bell believes the one-car Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom Racing team has a shot to secure a spot in the race’s first three rows Sunday.
“I believe we are in the position for a spot in the Fast 9,” said Bell. “We were ninth today with the ‘no tow’ speeds. So we are on the edge of making it. I’d love to have our little one-car Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom team slide into the Fast 9 and battle the big teams. I’m anxious to get going for Sunday with the Robert Graham Special.”