Passing the time on a rainy Sunday at Indy
It's a rainy, chilly Sunday morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is about the worst set of circumstances for IZOD IndyCar Series teams that want to continue on-track preparations for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500.
So what to do while being a captive in the garage area?
• Sarah Fisher Racing's Ed Carpenter hosts the crew of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The flight demonstration team is in Indianapolis for a local air show this weekend, and performed a flyover the Speedway on Opening Day. Carpenter, a private pilot, gives the pilots and crew a detailed description of the No. 67 Dollar General car.
Petty Officer A.J. Varner, the crew chief, is a Chesterfield, Ind., native He said there's a special bond between him and the pilots of the F-18s.
"When the pilot gets in the jet, there's handshake signaling to him that I've checked the jet," Varner says.
• Dreyer & Reinbold's Justin Wilson is showing videos of his daughters' antics at home. The younger of the two, Jessica, has a strong resemblance to her father -- including the curly hair when he was a youth.
• Many drivers pop in to the Al Unser suite to greet youngsters as part of Indy 500 Kids Club. Scott Speed and Ho-Pin Tung get their faces painted in the shape of the Dragon Racing logo. James Hinchcliffe is spotted leaving with a cupcake "for later."
• Bertrand Baguette and Jay Howard, teammates at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the '500,' are the only drivers in firesuits. They mug for the camera before getting serious to have their official headshots snapped.
• Ryan Hunter-Reay heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum for the first time ever to check out the collection of 67 Indianapolis 500-winning cars and other memorabilia on the main floor. Alex Lloyd checks out the 2012 Dallara Automobili concept cars on display. "I liked them in photos but look even better in person," he says.
• Ana Beatriz, Davey Hamilton and Sebastian Saavedra are checking in with their engineers, going over details of the practice program for when they have the opportunity to get on the track. "It is what it is," Hamilton says.
• The motorcoach lot also is quiet, but it's where many more drivers are huddled in their rolling hotels.
The scheduled noon-6 p.m. (ET) practice session was canceled at 1:08 p.m. because of the persistent rain. The weather forecast for the May 16 (noon-6 p.m.) practice is significantly better.
"I was really looking forward to getting back in the No. 6 IZOD Team Penske car to continue checking items off our list, but the weather just wouldn't cooperate with us," said Ryan Briscoe, who was sixth quick on Open Day (223.811 mph). "My engineer, Eric Cowdin, and I were able to spend some time talking about what we'd like to accomplish when we do get back out there. I feel bad for the fans, especially. There were a lot of people here at the Speedway looking forward to seeing some cars on track. Hopefully, we'll be able to get back out there on Monday." IndyCar.com