IndyCar race in Texas postponed because of rain
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) The IndyCar Series race at Texas was postponed late Saturday night after unsuccessful attempts to dry the 1 1/2-mile track soaked by several periods of afternoon rain.
IndyCar officials announced the postponement about 11:30 p.m. EDT, more than 2 1/2 hours after the race had originally been scheduled to begin. The Firestone 600 was rescheduled for 2:15 p.m. EDT Sunday, when the forecast included a chance for scattered and isolated thunderstorms.
The green flag Saturday night had initially been pushed back nearly an hour to 9:45 p.m. EDT. But at that time, the cars were still in the garage area and crews using jet dryers were still working to dry the track though driver introductions and other scheduled prerace activities, including the playing of the national anthem, had been completed.
When the race was called, there were still several obviously damp spots along the frontstretch even after hours of attempted drying in humid conditions. There was also the threat of more rain later in the evening.
About 30 minutes before that Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud and James Hinchcliffe were among drivers who went into the stands near the flag stand. They signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans.
The delay at Texas also pushed back the departure to France for three IndyCar Series drivers and a TV commentator who are entered to run in the 24 hours of Le Mans race. Mikhail Aleshin, Sebastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon were planning to go from driving at Texas to Le Mans, as was NBCSN broadcaster Townsend Bell.
Representatives for Bourdais and Dixon said late Saturday night that their drivers were still planning to leave immediately after the rescheduled IndyCar race on Sunday. They will miss photo opportunities on the first day of scheduled activities for Le Mans.
''If you have a really good excuse, which I guess we have right now,'' Bourdais said during the television broadcast before the postponement when asked about missing Le Mans activities Sunday.
Carlos Munoz, a two-time Indianapolis 500 runner-up, earned his first career pole for the Texas race. Dixon, the defending race champion, qualified second.