Tuesday was on and off sunny with gusty winds upward of 30 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the second day of Verizon IndyCar Series open practice for the 99th running of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was in the low sixties, with the track no warmer than 92 f/33C.

At the 90 minute mark thirty cars had turned a wheel in anger – and what does that mean, anyhow? And that number held for another 90 minutes.

The top two drivers at that point were Team Penske Chevrolet racers – Helio Castroneves/No.3 at 227.514 mph/39.5580 seconds; and Simon Pagenaud/No.22. The top Honda was in third – Justin Wilson/No.25 Andretti Autosport Honda.

Simona de Silvestro's Honda

Just when I thought it was going to be an uneventful, no drama day with but a few cars on course at a time, Simona de Silvestro/No.29 Andretti Autosport Honda flamed out big time. She came down the back straight blowing more and more smoke. She kept to the left and when the flames erupted like Mount Vesuvius, she pulled onto an access road and bailed – so quickly she knocked over a fireman coming to her rescue. She was physically alright, and quickly made her way back to Pit Lane. She was last seen having a Pit Lane debrief of the incident with team owner Michael Andretti and Rob Edwards, the Director of Race Operations and Engineering – who had been hired away from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports after five years with the smaller team.

De Silvestro, one of two females in the race, had only just come out of the garage where I’d seen her earlier. After turning nine laps, she was twenty-fifth of the thirty drivers.

Conor Daly's Honda

Sebastian Saavedra's Chevrolet

Tony Kanaan's Chevrolet

Anyhow, thirty drivers had turned at least one lap. Many were late in coming out, some were still in the garage, or on their way back to the garage, and one garage was shut tight with no activity. The strong winds may have been discouraging, as the majority of the cars were in the pits or garage.

After two and a half hours, there had been two cautions for nearly 26 minutes – for the Swiss Miss rescue, and for a track inspection.

Jamie Davison

At one point all the Dale Coyne Racing Hondas were in the garage, but then Pippa Mann/No.63 and Carlos Huertas/No.18 ventured out. The No.19 is still in the garage up on jacks. A crew member told me that the Speedway parts just arrived last night and were being attached and installed. As for a driver, still no official word, but I was told that Aussie Jamie Davison was walking around in a fire suit – so you do the math. Davison has tested with Andretti Autosport in 2011, driven two IndyCar races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2013, and ran last year’s Indy 500 for KV Racing Technology, starting 28th and finishing 16th. The interesting part of this plan is Davison’s commitment to his full-season Pirelli World Challenge ride in the Nissan Motorsports GT-R GT3, which would have him racing in Canada this coming weekend. So he either skips that, or someone else qualifies his Indy 500 race car, and how complicated is that? Stay tuned.

Alex Tagliani's Honda

Two of the three AJ Foyt drivers, Alex Tagliani and Jack Hawksworth, have yet to be on track. Tagliani is only driving the Indy 500 in No.48 Alfe Heat Treatment Special Honda, and a crew member told me he would be out later this afternoon. No word on why regular driver, Hawksworth, wasn’t yet out this week in No.41 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda.

The only driver not expected to be on track, by design, is Buddy Lazier/No.91 Wynn Iowa Vision Lazier Racing Chevrolet. He’s on a short program with Chevrolet – the only driver confirmed not to be running full time practice. Lazier should be on course by Thursday, giving him two full practice days and one hour on Saturday before qualifying.