There was a lot of thrashing going on Friday afternoon in the garages of ROBERT DOORNBOS/No.06 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing and SCOTT SHARP/No.16 Tequila Patron Panther Racing. Both drivers are unhurt and fit to drive, after separate single-car crashes in the area of Turn Two.

Doornbos said “Going into Turn 1, I felt something really light on the front of the car, and then I brushed the wall. Then I went into the Turn 2 wall. Hopefully, it was just driver error and nothing went wrong on the car and we are able to fix it and come back strong tomorrow.”

The NHLR team prepared the backup car for a Pole Day run, and Doornbos ran it for five laps

Sharp said “We were on a sticker run. It was the second lap, pretty easy. I rolled down in there, and it just snapped on me. I’m not exactly sure what’s up.” (About how this affects Pole Day): “I have to go back and figure all of that out with the Panther team. We’ve been struggling a little bit to gain more speed and didn’t really need this to happen right now. We’ll see what the plan is and find a way to rebound.”

This is the plan, as I heard from the crew and a representative for the team. There is no backup car for Sharp, so the team is beavering away to repair the damage, which includes the whole right side. The tub wasn’t structurally damaged, but was hurt near the fuel hole area, among other things. The crew hopes to have the car ready for shake down runs Saturday afternoon, and qualify on Sunday.

As Sharp has a conflicting American Le Mans Series race next weekend at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, there are various scenarios if he can’t qualify the car this weekend. Sharp could fly back and forth to qualify the IndyCar on Saturday and race ALMS on Sunday. If all else fails, the team would have another driver qualify the IndyCar, and Sharp would start the Indy 500 from the back. IRL rules state that it is the car that qualifies, not the driver.