IRL: Indy 500: Pole Day 1 rainout report

Indy pole qualifying moved to Sunday after heavy rain force a washout INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 10, 2003 -- Heavy rain and thunderstorms May 10 forced the postponement of MBNA Pole Day for the 87th Indianapolis 500 until May 11 at the ...

Indy pole qualifying moved to Sunday after heavy rain force a washout

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 10, 2003 -- Heavy rain and thunderstorms May 10 forced the postponement of MBNA Pole Day for the 87th Indianapolis 500 until May 11 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Qualifying is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, with practice starting at 11 a.m.

Pre-qualifying practice Saturday was interrupted by an accident involving Billy Boat. Rain started slightly more than 20 minutes after Boat's accident as track crews cleaned the debris from the accident, and the track was closed within 90 minutes as violent thunderstorms swept through central Indiana.

It was the first time Pole Day has been completely washed out at Indianapolis since 1990.

"Obviously, I'm a little disappointed we couldn't qualify this afternoon," two-time defending race winner Helio Castroneves said. "It's my birthday today, so I was hoping for a special present.

"The Marlboro Team Penske car has been performing very well all week, and we were really looking forward to qualifying. Now, we'll just have to maintain our focus until tomorrow when the weather is better. Maybe it's best this way, because now I can try to earn the pole for my mom on Mother's Day."

During morning practice, Scott Dixon turned the fastest lap at the Speedway since 1996, 38.5876 seconds, 233.236 mph, in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone.

"I got a tow off one of the Penske cars that brought that number up," Dixon said. "Still, we're pretty confident."

Robby Gordon was second at 38.6334, 232.959 in the No. 27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Gordon's Andretti Green Racing teammate Tony Kanaan rounded out the top three at 38.7997, 231.961 in the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

1998 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Boat was transported to Methodist Hospital for evaluation after hitting the safety attenuator at the entrance to pit road in his No. 98 Pedigo Chevrolet Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. He was awake and alert.

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk was cleared to drive after crashing Friday in the No. 20 Meijer Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone.

All Pole Day tickets from Saturday will be valid for admission Sunday.

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Chip Ganassi , Mo Nunn
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing