Brickyard 400 race day morning blog

Chris Pratt
Published: .
Updated: .
Brickyard 400 race day started with lightning and rain, but skies are clearing now. Rain is still a possibility, so we're keeping a close eye on radar.

All of Indiana is under a slight risk of severe weather Sunday. We could see storms developing anytime after noon. All the same, IMS President Doug Boles tells us he's confident about getting the race in today despite the threat of rain.

The first round of storms hit the speedway around 6 a.m. and more are expected before the start of the race. IMS will implement its severe weather plan if necessary.

Sports Anchor Rich Nye says IMS can dry the track dry in abut 1.5 hours. The new Air Titans can dry the track about 30 percent faster than the old equipment, and they've been on the track all morning.

NBC Parks and Rec's Chris Pratt got in some practice laps in the official pace car. He finished a lap of 120 mph and got out of the car smiling. "That's the fastest I've ever gone in a car," he said.

WTHR Sunrise anchor Julia Moffitt and sports director Dave Calabro were rocking their granny specs:

Pre-race concerts got underway around 9:30 am with Lauren Jenkins:

Reporter Rich Van Wyk always makes new friends at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

NASCAR VP of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton tells us that along with rain concerns, the track at the IMS is very temperature sensitive.

"Today when we've had heavy rain, we'll have a competition caution early in the race and give guys an opportunity to adjust on their cars, check for tire wear, things like that," he said. 

"We'll have to adjust to that as the sun comes in and out and as the track gets rubbered in throughout the afternoon," he explained. "When you have a track that changes the way that it does, it really is an opportunity for the guys to get a half or three quarters of a fuel run under their belt, check their car out, get their set-ups right, work out tire pressure and things like that."

The best teams at the top of their game win at the Brickyard. "There's a million ways to lose and only a few ways to win," said Pemberton.

Fans are arriving late due to this morning's storms. We're not seeing many long lines to get in:

We're starting to see foot traffic pick up at Gate 5A.

Corey proposed to Britney on the Yard of Bricks last year. The rest is history!

Stay tuned to WTHR and for updates throughout the day.