Rain slows down Fast Friday activities, attendance at IMS

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INDIANAPOLIS – Fast Friday got off to a slow start. Practice was delayed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for nearly three hours, capping off a rainy week at IMS.

“On the way here it wasn’t raining,” said race fan Bob Gavin “Then all of a sudden it started raining, and never quit!”

It finally did stop, in time for some practice to take place, ahead of this weekend’s qualifying.

“That’s the one thing you can’t control is what the weather is going to do,” said IMS President Doug Boles. “This week for sure the weather has an impact on attendance. When people see that it’s going to be cold or going to be rainy they tend to not come out.”

Still, track officials are looking forward to a big month overall, thanks to the Grand Prix road race last weekend.

Plus this year, the Pacers won’t be in town the same day as the Indy 500. They’ll be playing in Miami next weekend, on Saturday and on Memorial Day. Boles said it wasn’t too big of an issue having the Pacers play on the same day last year, but all in all, it might help both organizations to have their own day in the spotlight.

“You know it probably helps that we can not be on the same day,” said Boles. “It’s better for all of us, better for the Pacers, it’s better for the fan that wants to do both.”

And as for the weather…

“Hopefully it quits (raining),” said Gavin.

“We’re happy to run late if we need to,” said Boles. “We’re trying to do everything we can to work around what the weather presents for us. It’s one of things you can’t get too frustrated about, and we just continue to go forward.”