Sunday, May 22, 2011

Indy 500 Bump Day Nightmare for Andretti Autosports - Weather Wreaks Havoc

Marco Andretti Waits to Qualify at Indy

Marco Andretti salvaged an excruciating Indy 500 qualifying weekend for Andretti Autosports today by bumping his way back into the starting field of 33 as the last driver to make a qualifying run on Bump Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He had to knock teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay out in the process. Another teammate, Mike Conway, was unable to find speed and continue his Indycar comeback and also missed the show. Danica Patrick nearly had weather nullify her chance to get in the 500 as she was next in line to go out when rain hit the Speedway for the second time on the day earlier in the afternoon. As a result, only 3 of the 5 cars entered by Andretti Autosports made the race, after John Andretti had put his #43 machine in 17th on Saturday.

Anna Beatriz and Graham Rahal were able to complete their runs just after qualifying opened at noon before darkness and a wicked thunderstorm blew through and doused the Speedway, creating the first of two rain delays. Alex Lloyd bumped his way in on his third and final attempt and several competitors went home empty handed after their teams were unable to keep up with the brutal changes in track conditions which effected the entire two-day qualifying weekend. Raffa Matos, and Rookie James Jakes, also joined Conway and Hunter-Reay on the sidelines while Jay Penske's Dragon team lost cars to crashes on both Saturday and Sunday knocking their original drivers Ho Pin Tung and Scott Speed, out of any chance at qualifying. Indy is still Indy, and good crowds both qualifying days were treated to numerous qualifying attempts and high drama right down to the final gun on both Pole Day and Bump Day. Now the field is set and it's time to get ready for Carburetion Day this Friday. The Centennial Indianapolis 500 is now set for one week from today and the field will take the green shortly after noon eastern time May 29th. Better got buy your tickets now - it will be a race for the ages! I'll be in Turn 3 on race day so come out and say hello!

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