The good news is that it’s overcast but dry so far at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the morning practice ahead of a compressed one-day Indianapolis 500 qualifying session. The bad news is there’s been another crash and flip, and that there are dark threatening clouds from the West/North over the grandstands overlooking the starter stand-across from the pits. The weather is warm and muggy, with a breeze.
Ed Carpenter/No.20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet crashed and flipped up in Turn Two. He spun hard and fast into the Turn Two SAFER Barrier backend, and flipped up rear end in the air and caught the rear end in the catch fence. Carpenter then slid down the wall on his left side and onto the track where it stopped – still on its side. Carpenter got out of the car himself, and is alright. He was checked, released and cleared to drive by Dr. Michael Olinger, INDTCAR medical director at the IU Health Emergency Center. He was obviously very frustrated and disappointed. The team owner/oval driver was set to be third in the qualifying queue for his backup car, and eighth in line with his primary car. The team tweeted that it was “all hands on deck in an effort to get the backup car and Ed Carpenter in the show.” And by all hands on deck, this included Tony George, Carpenter’s stepfather, seen pushing a broom.
Carpenter was running third overall at the time of the crash, midway through the Group 1 half-hour practice session, at 231.806 mph.
The abbreviated session went green with a few minutes to go, and then immediately went to caution, ending the first practice session. There had been two other cautions, with a total of 10 minutes caution and 15 minutes green flag time.
The practice session for Group 2 was originally on hold for clean up and track repair. It soon led to an announcement that track repairs to the wall would take an hour and the cars were sent back to the garage.
Scott Dixon/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet was fastest overall for the truncated session, at 233.001 mph.
Second fastest was Will Power/No.1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet at 232.118 ph, and he had a 231.187 mph without a tow. He had been on top more the first ten or so minutes.
Fourth and fifth were Ryan Hunter-Reay/No.28 Andretti Autosport Honda- 231.673 mph and 223.029 mph without a tow.
Fifth was Takuma Sato/No.14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda, at 231.502 mph.
Sixteen drivers participated in the first session.
Stay tuned for schedule revisions.