"Fast Friday" at IMS challenging due to wet weather


Friday is the last full day of practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before qualifying begins with Pole Day on Saturday, but the cold temperatures and this week's rain have forced track officials to improvise.

By 9:30 am, light drizzle was falling at the track, putting Fast Friday plans in jeopardy.

It's been a challenging week for drivers who've had to squeeze every minute of practice they can in between rain showers. They did manage to get on the track Thursday, but the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was forced to extend practice time this week to be flexible and accommodate drivers--and make sure they're ready.

IMS President Doug Boles says, "We're trying to do what we can with the schedule to make it work. It's a little frustrating because we want the guys and gals to get on the track as much as possible and get the cars ready for the race and then really starting Friday.  Really, when the guys get ready for the qualifying set up, so we really want to be able to have good weather so they can be prepared for Saturday when we go into qualifying."

Saturday's qualifying will be a little different. The window is a little tighter and it would be up to IndyCar to extend any qualifying time on the track. Many at IMS think they will likely end at 6:00 p.m. as scheduled.

If you are going to the track for "Fast Friday" here are the times you need to know:

 - Gates at IMS open at 10:00 a.m.
 - The IMS Midway is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
 - Indianapolis 500 Practice is from Noon to 6:00 p.m.
 - The Qualifying Draw is at 6:15 p.m. at the Pagoda Plaza Stage

And a reminder, qualifying will be done a little differently this year. It's a new format. As a result, instead of the pole sitter being determined on Saturday, it will be on Sunday.

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