Kentucky weepers cancel Friday on-track activities

Heavy rain on Thursday at Kentucky Speedway continued throughout the night, saturating the ground. Friday dawned bright and sunny with temperatures in the 80s but persistent weepers canceled all on-track activities.

Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Photo by Cyril Ma.

The starting grid for the IndyCar Series and the Indy Lights races will be set by entrant point standings. Scott Dixon will start from the pole in Saturday night's Meijer Indy 300 with his teammate Dario Franchitti starting alongside.

"We'll definitely take it any way we can get it," said Dixon. "It just shows that throughout the season you have to be close to on top or near the top if you have adverse conditions and have to start by points. It's a fantastic result for Team Target with a 1-2 start. Unfortunately, it's not the way we wanted to go about it. It's a tough day here for all of us not being able to be on track, especially when we have a lot of different changes we'd like to try out."

Franchitti said his biggest concern is to get some track time for all the new regulations. Starting with this event, the Indy Racing League has lifted restrictions on some aerodynamic pieces and added a push-to-pass button. "Every team would love to get out there and get some laps right now and see what it's going to be like. If you see the guys out there, the safety team guys, everyone from the IndyCar Series, they are working hard to clean up the weepers, but there's nothing you can do. It's not their fault that it rained torrential rain yesterday since I arrived. You can only do so much to fix it."

Penske Racing teammates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves will start on the second row and Andretti Green Racing teammates Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti will start from the third row.

A pair of teammates will share the front row in the Indy Lights Series, with J.R. Hildebrand and Sebastian Saavedra sharing the front row for the series' 100th event.

The track was to have opened with an Indy Lights practice session at noon. After a 90 minute delay, the cars were sent back to the garage area while crews waited for an update on track conditions.

A revised schedule was released with the IndyCar Series scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. Cars were towed to the pit lane and crews were in place to begin practice but it was obvious that track crews were still busy with the "weepers" in Turns 3 and 4. Within an hour several drivers mounted their scooters to survey the track.

When it became apparent that the "weepers" couldn't be stopped in a reasonable amount of time, the cars were towed back to the pits while Indy Racing League and track officials determined the next course of action.

Qualifying was canceled for both series and Indy Lights teams were told they were done for the day. A bulletin was released around 7:30 p.m. notifying IndyCar Series teams that a decision would be made at 8:45 p.m. determining the status of a 9:15 p.m. practice session. At 8:30 p.m. word came that all on-track activities were canceled.