Busy Pole Day in store after Saturday washout at IMS

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By Mike Berman

INDIANAPOLIS (May 16, 2015) – It was a disappointing day for both drivers and fans as qualifying for the 99th Indianapolis 500 was washed out on Saturday afternoon.

Only defending champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Huertas were able to complete their four laps before the heavy rains came and ended track activity for the day.  After getting all charged up to start setting the grid, the drivers are forced to wait another day.

“You want to go out there and qualify for sure,” Helio Castroneves said.  “The good news is we have Sunday.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to go and continue to have fun.”

“Days like today are a bummer,”  Ed Carpenter told Indy Sports Central.  “You get pumped up and you’re ready to go qualify and really see what you have.  It’s the first day you really know where you stand and it’s disappointing for the fans.”

But tomorrow those fans will be treated to an entertaining day of qualifying.  One run for each driver adding to an already pressure-filled scenario.

“I think it’s good,” said Will Power.  “I think the fans will like the situation that you can’t screw it up.  You can seriously not make the race if you make a mistake, so it’s going to make the grip on the wheel a little bit tighter.”

With the new aero kits debuting, fans had hoped to see a new qualifying record set, but the condensed schedule could lead to drivers taking a more conservative approach Sunday.

“Having one shot at it makes it arguably more interesting,” Marco Andretti said.  “It’s so easy to dial yourself out by going too trim and having to pedal it over the four laps or you can go too conservative and be too over-stuck, so the pole’s going to be somewhere in between that.”

All drivers will have one attempt to qualify between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  Positions 10-30 will be locked into the grid.   The top nine drivers will compete in the Fast Nine Shootout between 1:45 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.  to determine the pole winner and the order for the rest of the first three rows.  The day will wrap up with the last row being set between 3:00 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.