Photo courtesy IMSA

After Eldora victory, Chase Briscoe sets sights on Lime Rock this weekend

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Courtesy IMSA Wire Service

LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Less than 48 hours after his thrilling NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Eldora Speedway, Chase Briscoe is already back behind the wheel of a racecar. This time, it’s the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
After making a quick stop back home in Mooresville, N.C. to drop off his Golden Shovel from Eldora, Briscoe made his way up to Lakeville, Conn. forSaturday’s Lime Rock Park 120. Briscoe’s smile on Friday was still as big as when he was interviewed in Victory Lane on Wednesday night.
“It was a heck of a race,” said Briscoe. “We ran around there two inches apart for two laps in a row, coming to the checkered beating and banging a little bit and beat him by a couple inches. It meant so much to me personally to win Eldora, being a dirt sprint car guy and going to watch races there since I was five years old.”
It was only the second start at Eldora for Briscoe and his second consecutive Truck Series victory, with his last coming at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November, 2017. The win was even more sentimental as Briscoe’s grandfather previously competed at the famous dirt track.
Yet entering this weekend at Lime Rock alongside co-driver Scott Maxwell, it’s hard to find a similarity between the 1.55-mile road course in Connecticut and the half-mile dirt track in Ohio. Adding more diversity to the mix, Briscoe competed in a sprint car race in Illinois last weekend.
“Three totally different racetracks, racecars and disciplines,” said Briscoe. “(Lime Rock) is definitely way more narrow than I thought it was going to be and a lot more hilly. It’s been an adjustment to get used to and obviously, jumping from car to car takes a little bit. I still don’t feel like I’m where I need to be, but I’ve got a really good team and teammate to help me get there.”
Briscoe’s jump between the Continental Tire Challenge, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series is a result of his involvement in the Ford Driver Development Program. Following Lime Rock – his fifth Continental Tire Challenge start of the season – Briscoe’s remaining race in IMSA this year will be in the finale at Road Atlanta.
“This whole thing has been really big for me personally,” said Briscoe. “I feel like the road courses were something I really struggled with. … I feel like Mid-Ohio (in May, the third race of the season) was really the first race where I felt like I knew what I was doing and was capable to run up front and that showed last week at (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) too.
“I’m excited to finally see how it’s going to correlate over. I get to run the XFINITY car on the road course next month at Mid-Ohio and it’s going to be the balance to see where I judge at.”
In the meantime, Briscoe is soaking up every moment in the Continental Tire Challenge paddock and is especially hoping to deliver a win for his team, which has seen its fair share of bad luck this season.
“We really need to get a win and turn this season around,” said Briscoe. “It’s been fun coming over here and learning. This is a totally different atmosphere too than what I’m used to, so that’s been really cool to see. I’ve gotten to go to a lot of racetracks that I never thought I’d get to go to.”
Briscoe will make his first start at Lime Rock Park at 11:10 a.m. ET on Saturday. The race can be streamed live on IMSA.tv.

Indianapolis 500 weather forecast: Rain chances decreasing for start

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INDIANAPOLIS — As the green flag keeps approaching for the 103rd Indianapolis 500, the chances of clear skies Sunday keep increasing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The chance of rain at the start of the race was down to about 30%, according to the wunderground.com site as of late Saturday night, and the forecast seemed good until late afternoon when the odds of precipitation rose to about 80%.

If the race starts on time at12:45 p.m. ET, that should be a long enough window to run the full 500 miles and certainly an official race (102 of 200 laps).

With Indiana on the western edge of the Eastern Time Zone and a 9:02 p.m. sunset on race day, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles said the green flag probably could be held as late as 6 p.m. if a worst-case scenario of bad weather hits.

THE 103RD INDIANAPOLIS 500: Click here for how to watch

“We ran the NASCAR race (in 2017) almost right up to sunset,” Boles said. “The challenge of getting closer to sunset is just getting people out when it’s still light. The race itself is more than 2 hours and 40 minutes so you have to back-time yourself.

“We’ll sit down with IndyCar over the next 24 hours and at least have that in the back of our mind. If there’s a window to get it done, our intent would be get it in Sunday, so we would want to go as late as we could.”

Boles said National Weather Service representatives are on site this weekend to help with forecasting. Regardless of if there still is a threat of rain, the track will start the race on time as long as the surface is dry.

“I can’t imagine we’d postpone the start because we think it might rain,” Boles said. “If it’s not raining, we’re running the race.

Boles said track officials are monitoring Sunday’s weather daily but won’t discuss any potential contingency plans until Saturday night. Regardless of whether it’s raining Sunday morning, some pre-race ceremonies likely will remain in place.

“It’s hard to speculate on what’s going to happen,” he said. “It’s likely Sunday morning will be the first time that we have any definitive statement on what we think is going to happen. Instead of giving you information that we don’t know what it’s going to be like, I’d rather wait until that Sunday when we see the conditions, and we’ll let you know.

“Obviously, if it’s raining, then we’ll have to decide what the next steps are.”

Boles said Indiana weather traditionally is unpredictable, noting that qualifying was completed last Sunday despite predictions of a complete washout.

“Last year the prediction was it was going to rain on race day, we got up next morning, and it was perfect,” Boles said. “It just changes so rapidly around here.”

Should it rain, IndyCar officials will make every reasonable attempt to run the Indy 500 on time,. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway also recently used a new sealant on the track surface which makes it quicker to dry the racing surface.

During the previous 102 runnings of the Indy 500, there have been 12 impacted by rain: three complete postponements; two partial postponements and seven shortened races.

So what happens if it does rain? Some options:

Rain-shortened race

The Indy 500 could turn into the Indy 255. If more than 255 miles (102 laps) are completed in Sunday’s race, the race can be deemed official. If the race is called, driver’s finishing positions are based on their position in the race at the time of the caution flag for rain.

The Indy 500 has been shortened by rain only seven times, most recently in 2007. The race was stopped nearly three hours because of rain on Lap 113 and was declared officially over with Dario Franchitti in the lead when rain again hit at the 415-mile mark.

Partial postponement

If fewer than 102 laps are completed Sunday, the race will resume on the next dry day. With most Americans on holiday Monday because of Memorial Day, a partial postponement still might allow for a healthy audience at the track and watching on NBC.

The race has been partially postponed only twice in the 102 previous runnings, in 1967 and 1973.

Complete postponement

Fans shouldn’t worry too much about a complete postponement of the race, as it has only happened three times, most recently in 1997. If rain completely postpones the Indy 500, the race will be rescheduled for the next day with the start time dependent on the forecast.

The 1997 race ran 15 laps on Monday before rain again postponed the remainder of the race until Tuesday. The 1915 and ’86 runnings were postponed until the following Saturday.