FORT WORTH – A little past halfway in the Verizon IndyCar Series practice at Texas Motor Speedway, something malfunctioned on the No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda of Graham Rahal as he exited Turn 4.
Rahal then limped around the 1.5-mile oval before coming to a stop in the middle of Turns 3 and 4.
When he spoke with NBCSN’s Kevin Lee, Rahal and his team were not sure if the engine had given out.
“It might not be that, but we lost drive,” Rahal said. “It might be in the input shaft or something in the differential. All of a sudden it free revved and popped. We don’t see anything for sure that shows it’s an engine.”
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has until 4:15 p.m. CT time to diagnose the problem. That’s when qualifying for the Firestone 600 commences, with Rahal set to be the second qualifier.
“We’ll get it sorted out,” Rahal said. “From where we started with qualifying sim, the car felt comfortable. Being second (out) will be hard. A lot of guys have already done two qualifying sims.”
He later posted that it’s a gearbox failure affecting him.
The 33-car field of the 104th Indianapolis 500 will be set through the two-day Indy 500 qualifying schedule Saturday and Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Today’s session will determine the nine cars that will compete for the pole position and starting positions 10-30.
On Sunday, the pole position then will be determined in a Fast Nine Shootout (the top nine qualifiers also received NTT IndyCar Series points).
All on-track activity will be on NBC Sports Gold’s IndyCar pass (click here for streaming Saturday and here for Sunday), and Indy 500 qualifying will be on NBC from 3-5 p.m. ET Saturday and Indy 500 pole qualifying from 1-3 p.m. ET on NBC.
Last year, Simon Pagenaud captured the pole position on the way to winning last year’s Indy 500.
Qualifying speeds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are determined by a four-lap average around the 2.5-mile track.
Here is the Indy 500 qualifying schedule and how to watch on TV:
Saturday, Aug. 15
5:30 a.m. – Garage opens
6 a.m. – Tech inspection
8:30-9:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBC Sports Gold)
11 a.m.-5 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 qualifying (NBC Sports Gold; NBC coverage from 3-5 p.m.; NBCSN 5-6 p.m.)
7:30 p.m. – Garage closes
Sunday, Aug. 16
8 a.m. – Garage opens
9 a.m. — Tech inspection
11-11:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBC Sports Gold)
1:15-2:15 p.m. – Fast Nine pole qualifying (NBC begins at 1 p.m., NBC Sports Gold)
3:30-6 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold)