by Bill Potter
Bump Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers one last chance for drivers to qualify for next Sunday’s 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500, with several notable drivers still looking to qualify for the race. With rain in the forecast, drivers will need to find speed quickly on a day in which the pressure will rise dramatically.
Among the drivers still looking for a place on the grid are Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti and Ryan Briscoe. Patrick and Andretti are just two of four Andretti Autosport drivers not yet in the field of 33, with Ryan Hunter-Reay saying,
“It’s pretty tough for us right now. Most of the team is struggling with speed. But, we’ll keep chipping away at it. That’s all we can do. We need to get some speed out of it, but I’m not sure where it’s going to come from. We need to put our capes and our top-hats on, and make some magic happen. If we get this DHL/Sun Drop car in the race, it will be a contender. It’s just a matter of getting there.”
Briscoe wrecked his No. 6 IZOD Team Penske car in Saturday’s morning practice, forcing the team to prepare the backup 6T car. It was bumped from the provisional field of 24, leaving him with work to do on Sunday.
10 full-time drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series are still seeking to take the green flag next Sunday, including Mike Conway, Hunter-Reay, Patrick, Andretti, Sebastian Saavedra, Graham Rahal, Charlie Kimball, Ana Beatriz, Briscoe and James Jakes.
Scott Speed, Ho-Pin Tung, Paul Tracy, Alex Lloyd, Raphael Matos and Pippa Mann are all looking to qualify as well. It is unknown if Tung will be cleared to drive today, as he suffered a concussion on Saturday following a wreck on his qualifying run.
The last nine spots in the field (25-33) will be filled, beginning at 12 p.m. ET, with bumping occurring after. Bumping will occur by speed, meaning Simona De Silvestro, Tony Kanaan and Tomas Scheckter could be among those drivers needing to return to the track today and bump their way back into the field.