Newman/Haas backup plans

One rainy day is a headache for Newman/Haas Racing. One more could be a disaster. With drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira required to be in Monterrey, Mexico, for a Champ Car World Series race next weekend, the Newman/Haas contingent needs a clear day and two clean qualifying runs today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway or it will be forced to pull out its emergency plan.

"We have a few ideas of what we would do, but we're putting a lot of effort and time into getting the cars into the race," Tzouanakis said. "If it doesn't happen, then we'll worry about those other options." Based on practice speeds, Bourdais and Junqueira should have little trouble being among the 22 Indy 500 qualifiers today.

Bourdais said the rainout could be a blessing because it gave the team another day to tinker with the cars, and neither he nor Junqueira had a realistic shot at the pole, anyway. "I would be really happy to be in the top 11," Bourdais said, "but the important thing is to qualify." Any emergency plan would require putting other drivers into the cars to qualify them next weekend, but Tzouanakis said nothing like that has been arranged. "Some things have been discussed," he said, "but hopefully we'll get both cars in and we won't have to worry about (it)." Indy Star

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