Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Countdown to Indy (#13): IndyCar Drivers Make Most of Monday's Rain Out

Photo Credit: Bret Kelly

Hoping to get their first constructive day of car tuning time, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and teams watched as rain pelted the surface of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Monday. Weathering the storm, otherwise busy drivers and crews found off-track activities during the washed-out session.

Several drivers had scheduled press and sponsorship commitments to keep them busy. Sarah Fisher and Paul Tracy had separate interviews on Monday while Verizon Penske Racing drivers spent the early evening making appearances by Roger Penske's car dealerships. With Ryan Briscoe at Penske Chevrolet and Helio Castroneves at Penske Honda, the driver's dedication to meeting and signing autographs through the past two days must be putting the two popular IndyCar drivers close to developing writer's cramp.

While some IZOD IndyCar drivers were dealing with business, others enjoyed the break in the racing action at Indy. Drivers Ed Carpenter and Justin Wilson set sights on the gym during the rain delay wanting to substitute one workout for another. First time Indy 500 hopeful Simona de Silvestro spent time with her HVM Racing team playing Monopoly (By the way, is there an IndyCar version of Monopoly?). Another Indy rookie Ana Beatriz enlightened herself to the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by going to the Speedway Museum. To see some pictures of Beatriz's visit, she welcomes you to view her website at www.biaracing.com. Seeking a more solitary past time Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing driver Hideki Mutoh unwound to a Japanese comic book.

FirestoneBesides providing moments of personal recreation, several drivers devoted time Monday to meet and greet with the all too young patients of Riley Children's Hospital. Sarah Fisher, John Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay were joined by 4 crew members of Andretti Autosport plus two Firestone Indy Lights stand-outs (James Hinchcliffe and Stefan Wilson) in bringing some cheer to children in a heartening visit. Amongst one of the highlights of providing a smile to kids by eagerly conversing with the young race fans and non-race fans, John Andretti autographed a diaper. While only one winner can prevail in the Indianapolis 500, these drivers leave wanting every child in the Riley Children's Hospital to achieve their personal victories in having a long, happy life.

According to weather forecasts for Tuesday, a 40% chance of showers will persist to threaten track time on the 2.5 mile speedway. With some track time as least likely tomorrow, teams will definitely prefer Wednesday and Thursday where the bright stars of IndyCar will be illuminated by mostly sunny conditions.

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