Bad news: it’s raining in Indianapolis.
Good news: it’s raining when the Verizon IndyCar Series can actually run in the rain, during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis weekend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
For the third time in four race weekends (St. Petersburg Saturday, Barber Sunday), rain will interrupt the flow of the weekend. St. Petersburg qualifying was delayed but eventually completed; the same story applied at Barber two weeks ago, when rain delayed the race by more than two hours.
This morning, what began as sprinkles has turned a bit heavier just an hour before the first practice session of the day, and third of the weekend, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT.
But it seems to be in an off-and-on pattern, per the radar and a look outside the media center window.
IndyCar third practice and qualifying, and a qualifying and race session for each of the three Mazda Road to Indy ladders is on the docket.
Rain tire are probably going to be utilized. So far there haven’t been any schedule adjustments, and the Indy Racing Experience two-seater rides continue as scheduled this morning.
There has been a notification posted on the track billboard signs which reads: “Attention: rain showers are in the area. Lightning is possible. Please be advised.”
We’ll keep you posted as the day progresses.
Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.
“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”
Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.
The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.
Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.
Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.
Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.
Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.
Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”