WEEPERS, RAIN POSTPONE INDY JAPAN 300
MOTEGI, Japan - For the second day in a row at Twin Ring Motegi, water has spoiled the scheduled on-track activity. Yesterday rain washed out practice and qualifying for the Indy Japan 300 and today, it was the aftermath of Friday's heavy rains that postponed the race.
Significant "weepers" in turn four washed down the track all day in spite of much work to try and rectify the issue. Finally, the postponement was made at 3 p.m. (JST) and shortly after it began to rain.
The race has been rescheduled for 11 a.m. (JST). It will also be shown live at 10 p.m. (ET), April 19th in the United States on ESPN Classic, with a replay on Sunday, April 20th at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.
Live streaming video and audio from the IMS Radio Network will be available starting at 9 p.m. (ET) on indycar.com.
Since qualifying for the Indy Japan 300 was rained-out, the starting grid for the third race of the 2008 IndyCar Series season was determined by entrant points. As a result, Vision Racing drivers Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV will occupy row four and start seventh and eighth, which are also their best starting positions this year.
On Thursday, In their only time on the 1.5-mile egg-shaped oval this week, Carpenter was fifth fastest in the No. 20 Menards Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone while Foyt was 11th quick in the team's No. 2 Honda powered Dallara.
Both drivers are optimistic that their top-10 starting spots will lead to unprecedented race results given the strength of their cars and their previous performance to start the season.
In the season-opening race on the 1.5-mile oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Carpenter and Foyt were forced to start at the back of the field due to a failed post-qualifying technical inspection. In spite of the setback, they still managed to finish the race in the fifth and ninth positions, respectively.
Carpenter, will be driving in his fifth race at Twin Ring Motegi. Last year Carpenter earned his first running finish at the track when he started 16th and finished 15th. The year prior, in 2006, he finished 20th due to an accident. In 2005 he finished 16th also as a result of an accident and was 22nd in 2004 due to mechanical failure.
Carpenter has been running at the finish in both races this season as has Foyt who will also be making his fifth attempt at Twin Ring Motegi.
Foyt started 14th in 2007 at the Twin Ring and drove to a 14th place finish for Vision Racing. In 2003 and 2004 he was running at the finish as well and finished 14h and 15th respectively. In 2005 he finished 18th due to an accident.
The only previous postponement in Motegi's 10-year history took place in 2000, when showers forced the race to run on Sunday.
Vision Racing Quotes (April 19, 2008):
Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On race postponement:
"I just feel sorry for all of the fans, both in the stands and at home staying up late to watch this on TV. The League and the track officials did all that they could to try and fix the track, but there was just so much water out there. You just can't go out and race on an oval with conditions like that, so they made the right decision not to race. It's a shame we couldn't get this race in today, especially because I thought we had a great racecar and I thought we go out and get a good result, so I hope that we at least get to run tomorrow."
A.J. Foyt IV - No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On race postponement:
"It's unfortunate for everybody involved, but that's how it goes in racing sometimes. I know that everybody was working hard to try and get us out on the track today, but it just wasn't meant to be with how much water they were dealing with. I just hope that everything works out for us to be able to race tomorrow. We have a fairly good starting spot with a good racecar so I just want to be able to run this race and see what we can do."