By Tony DiZinno
Weather played havoc with repeated attempts to start the Carb Night Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway for the Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires. So both the Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 races will shift from Friday night to Saturday morning, starting at 11 a.m.
Things looked promising enough after USAC’s running with both Silver Crown and Midget cars completing their hot laps. However, a pair of incidents – one for a Silver Crown car hitting the Turn 3 wall hard and laying down a significant amount of fluid and another for Ryan Shilhuski, an Exclusive Autosport mechanic, emerging unscathed after a rollover accident exiting Turn 4 in his Midget – slowed the preliminary laps before the green flag flew for Indy Pro 2000.
At 9:08 p.m. the 11 Indy Pro 2000 cars hit the track and lined up on the front straight. There was 5 minutes to the command to start engines and the pre-race festivities commenced, including an unusually hurried rendition of the national anthem.
The grid saw Reece Gold on pole in the No. 55 Juncos Racing Tatuus PM-18 ahead of Braden Eves, Christian Rasmussen, Manuel Sulaiman, James Roe, Artem Petrov, Hunter McElrea, Jacob Abel, Jack William Miller, Kyffin Simpson and Wyatt Brichacek.
Engines have fired and there will be three warm-up laps.
The third time by is green for the 90-lap Freedom 90, and the second time by is when the 50-minute clock starts.
The clock has started with the pace car still in front of the field. Laps count under this full-course caution as the pace car remains out to gauge track and weather conditions.
There is some light moisture in the air and the field remains behind the pace car for four laps.
On the fifth lap the flag stand displays the red flag and the field heads to pit lane.
Race control sends the Indy Pro 2000 cars back to the paddock with the rain intensifying.
At 10 p.m., series officials indicated they are working to get the track ready within an hour.
But if there’s any further rain between now and the intended restart, we’ll be done for the night.
According to the race director, the track temperature is 65F at the moment. The ambient is much cooler, just 50F.
Reports of sprinkles as Indy Pro 2000 cars head back to pre-grid. And unfortunately not long after that came the call at 10:30 p.m. that the remainder of Friday night activities were scrubbed.
Updated times for Saturday are 11:00 a.m. ET for the Indy Pro 2000 race, the Freedom 90, and then 11:45 a.m. ET for the USF2000 race, the Freedom 75.