Ominous skies over Astrodome (Tony DiZinno)

IndyCar Race 2 qualifying canceled due to rain; field set by entrant points (UPDATED)

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UPDATE, 11:47 a.m. ET: Minutes ago, INDYCAR announced a correction on its part regarding the grid for Race 2 of the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston.

According to Rule 8.1.10.1 B of the IZOD IndyCar Series rule book, in the event of a cancellation of qualifying, the starting field will be set by the entrant points going into the event – which, in Houston’s case, means the entire weekend, not individual races.

As a result, it will be Helio Castroneves – not Scott Dixon – that will start today’s 90-lap race on the pole in his No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet. Going into the Houston weekend (and, obviously, before Saturday’s Race 1), Castroneves’ No. 3 car led, 486-452, in entrants’ points over Dixon’s No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Here’s your new starting lineup for today’s event:

IZOD IndyCar Series – Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race 2
Official Starting Lineup

Row 1
3-Helio Castroneves

9-Scott Dixon

Row 2
77-Simon Pagenaud
25-Marco Andretti

Row 3
1-Ryan Hunter-Reay
19-Justin Wilson

Row 4
10-Dario Franchitti
27-James Hinchcliffe

Row 5
12-Will Power
83-Charlie Kimball

Row 6
11-Tony Kanaan
5-E.J. Viso

Row 7
7-Sebastien Bourdais
67-Josef Newgarden

Row 8
14-Takuma Sato
18-Mike Conway

Row 9
78-Simona de Silvestro
20-Ed Carpenter

Row 10
15-Graham Rahal
16-James Jakes

Row 11
4-Oriol Servia
55-Tristan Vautier (R)

Row 12
98-Luca Filippi
6-Sebastian Saavedra

ORIGINAL, 10:00 a.m. ET: After two days of unrelenting heat and humidity, now there’s been another monkey wrench thrown into this weekend’s Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar doubleheader: a 20-degree temperature drop and persistent rain.

The qualifying for the second race of the weekend and 18th of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season is on an indefinite hold due to the rain and track conditions not allowing the water to drain that well.

Pace cars have been sent out to survey the circuit. A USF2000 race and Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTS race are scheduled before the IndyCar TV window and race, beginning at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

We’ll update things as we hear further developments.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.