Indy 500 qualifying postponed until Sunday due to rain

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UPDATE 14:30 ET – Indianapolis Motor Speedway has confirmed that qualifying for the 99th Indianapolis 500 will now be held on Sunday after rain limited Saturday’s session to just two complete runs.

Following an earlier delay in final practice due to wet weather, conditions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway improved to allow qualifying to kick off at 12:25pm ET.

Carlos Huertas opened the running for Dale Coyne Racing, posting a four-lap average of 228.235mph. He was followed by defending Indy 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay out on track, who managed to edge out the Colombian with a four-lap average of 229.845mph, giving himself an early provisional pole position.

Long Beach winner Scott Dixon (pictured) did look to threaten Hunter-Reay’s place at the top of the timesheets from the beginning of his run, putting in a first flying lap of 231.357mph.

However, Dixon’s charge was quickly brought to a halt after light rain began to fall at IMS, forcing officials to issue yellow flags and force the New Zealander to pit.

The rain soon intensified, prompting race control to issue a message that said qualifying would not resume until 3pm ET at the absolute earliest, given that a completely dry track is required for running to take place.

At 2:09pm ET, IMS confirmed via its Twitter account that qualifying has been postponed until tomorrow.

As per the circuit’s website, here is the revised schedule for tomorrow’s running:

  • 8am – 8:20 am – Practice Group 1
  • 8:20am – 8:40 am – Practice Group 2
  • 10 am – 1 pm Qualifications
  • 1:45pm – 2:30pm – Fast 9
  • 3pm – 3:45 pm – Group 2 Qualifying (Positions 31-33)

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”