Rain Washes Out Qualifying and Dampens Expectations INDIANAPOLIS (May 13, 2006)--Rain was the last thing that A.J. Foyt's ABC Supply Racing team wanted to see here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway but rain is the only thing they've seen for the...
Rain Washes Out Qualifying and Dampens Expectations
INDIANAPOLIS (May 13, 2006)--Rain was the last thing that A.J. Foyt's ABC Supply Racing team wanted to see here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway but rain is the only thing they've seen for the past two days.
The wet weather washed out all activity on Fast Friday and Pole Day Qualifying. Qualifying has been moved to tomorrow when cars will attempt to fill the first 22 slots in the 33-car grid.
On the topic of how rain affected the team this year, Foyt said, "Well, it's hurt us. We haven't had much practice. I had to go back to Houston on business Wednesday but I didn't think it was going to rain as much as it has. It's really put us behind with the 14 car."
Giaffone concurred saying, "We haven't run that much so I was one of the few drivers wishing we have more rain so that qualifying gets delayed until next weekend so that we could have this week to practice. But now I hear that they will probably do qualifying the next clear day so I just hope we have a clear day when we do qualify so we get as much track time as possible. We need more time to dial-in the car. We haven't even started to trim it out.
"I think I had more practice time in the race car last year on Bump Day than I've had in my ABC car this week with all of this wet weather. I've never seen it rain this much at Indy."
Teammate Larry Foyt, who will qualify the No. 41 Panoz/Honda, said, "We weren't planning to run until the second week but I hate it for Felipe because I know he wanted to get more time in the Dallara. I was hoping that if he was happy with the car then we could focus a little more on my car next week. So in a way the weather impacts the whole team. We're hurting for track time."
Foyt took his refresher test in the No. 41 Panoz/Honda on Monday. He reached a top speed of 215-plus mph after many changes.
"I was hoping for more speed but my dad kept saying don't worry about it," said Foyt. "The important thing was to get laps in the car because it'd been a year since I had been in one of these cars. But as a driver you always want more speed. The good thing is that the changes we made did improve the car so at least the communication is there."
Felipe Giaffone was on track on opening day Tuesday at the 2.5-mile speedway, shaking down the ABC Supply Dallara/Honda car at 219 mph. With A.J. Foyt heading home to Houston Tuesday night for an important board meeting the next day, the team planned to run the car later that day. Unfortunately as they began to roll the car to pit lane, the rain came, ending all practice.
On Thursday, the weather was cold and windy with gusts in the 25-30 mph range but Giaffone was on track in the No. 14. However, a handling problem with the car proved frustrating to Giaffone and Foyt as the 14 car only reached 217 mph. The team diagnosed and fixed the problem but the rain came before they could see the improvement on track.