Patrick at risk as rain resumes
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 19:32 GMT|
A second rain shower on Indianapolis 500 Bump Day has left Danica Patrick in danger of falling to make the field for the race.
The track dried sufficiently for 45 minutes of qualifying this afternoon following the earlier storm, but rain returned just before Patrick was due to make what would have been her first qualifying effort of the day.
There are two and a half hours to go before Bump Day ends, and it is thought unlikely that conditions will be good enough for any track action for at least the next hour.
Should Patrick fail to get a sufficiently quick run in, Andretti Autosport could yet get her into the race if it can do a deal for her to take over another driver's car. She could then start from the tail of the field.
During the running that did take place, Dreyer & Reinbold's Paul Tracy, Penske driver Ryan Briscoe, and Ganassi duo Charlie Kimball and Graham Rahal all set speeds that will almost certainly qualify them for the race as they took 25th to 28th positions.
Rookie Pippa Mann (Conquest) and Tracy's team-mate Ana Beatriz are also looking relatively secure in 29th and 30th, especially with potentially little track time left after the rain.
Drivers most at risk of being bumped should qualifying resume are Andretti's Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti, and current 33rd-place man Alex Lloyd (Dale Coyne Racing).
Both Lloyd's team-mate James Jakes and Conquest's Sebastian Saavedra made qualifying attempts that proved too slow to get in, while Raphael Matos (AFS) and Andretti's final driver Mike Conway managed to briefly hold places in the field before being bumped out.
Dragon Racing has now withdrawn from the event following Ho-Pin Tung's massive crash yesterday and Patrick Carpentier's accident today in the car initially entered for Scott Speed.