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Indy qualifications rain delay report
The forecast rains have arrived at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the first segment of qualifications have concluded.  Should the track be get dried before 6 pm, the Fast Nine competition will be held, with each driver getting one chance at claiming the Pole award.  This means that we might know the winner of the 2011 Pole Day competition until 7:00 pm, or even later.

Before the rain fell the crowd was thrilled with several big stories exhibiting bravery, the thrill of victory and potentially the agony of not making the show.

-  Simona de Silvestro thrilled the crowd with three qualification attempts.  The first one wasn't fast enough, and the second put her in the 24 car field, only to be bumped out.  The third put her more solidly in the field, and when rain fell she was in the 24th spot.

- Home-town boy Ed Carpenter was pulled out of line, and it started sprinkling when he finally made his qualification attempt.  No matter -- he qualified 6th, thrilling the crowd. 

Now for the bad news:

- Drama, thy name is Andretti.  Only John Andretti is in the field, with the rest consigned to qualifying tomorrow.  The good news is that John's team claims to have found a fix for the speed woes that might work on the rest of the cars.

- Dragon Racing is also dragging.  Ho-Pin Tung was released from Methodist hospital, but his car probably won't do as well.  Ho-Pin suffered a "minor concussion" and is NOT yet cleared to drive.  There is no backup car for this team, except for the car designated for Scott Speed.  Speed did not make a qualification attempt, is obviously uneasy at Indy, and parts of him would probably love to lose his seat.

- Ryan Briscoe is also on the outside, looking in.  His team was forced to a backup car after a morning crash, and it's obvious that things just aren't right.  "We need to get back to the setup pad and just set everything down.  It's been such a rush since the crash...  There's no reason we won't be able to get the speed we need to get into the top nine."  Except, of course, that ran cut short the day.

The list of those drivers not qualified at the end of the first day:

Scott Speed
Ho-Pin Tung
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Marco Andretti
Danica Patrick
Charlie Kimball
James Jakes
Graham Rahal
Ryan Briscoe
Sebastian Saavedra
James Jakes
Pippa Mann
Paul Tracy
Ana Beatriz
Mike Conway
Rapahel Matos
Alex Lloyd

Tim Wohlford reporting from Indy

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