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Track drying process underway to run Indy 500 Saturday qualifying

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INDIANAPOLIS – Track drying efforts are underway to get the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ready to go for qualifying at the first day of time trials for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

More than two hours of rain from just before the planned start time of 11 a.m. bled into the 1 p.m. hour, but has since stopped within the last half hour.

The latest update from INDYCAR estimates the track drying process to take just over two hours at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the goal of starting qualifying by 4 p.m. ET and local time.

The hope is that will provide enough time to run through all 33 cars at least one time through the order.

Here’s the official word from INDYCAR:

Efforts are being made to dry the track and Indianapolis Motor Speedway is prepared to extend today’s activities beyond 6 p.m. to execute first-day qualifying. All entrants will each get one qualifying attempt today in order to set the groups for Sunday’s qualifying session.

INDYCAR estimates Qualifications will begin at 4 pm.

An update from this morning is here and a link to the qualification process is here.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”