The Verizon IndyCar Series tried all weekend, but couldn’t get mother nature to cooperate at Texas Motor Speedway. The area has been slammed with heavy rain over the past two weeks, and the last 48 hours have been no exception. After an eventful Saturday night of track drying, weepers, and drivers visiting fans in the stands, the race was moved to Sunday afternoon. After another delay on Sunday, the race was finally started, only to see the red flag on Lap 72 for more rain. The thunderstorm, and upcoming testing plans led the series to ultimately postpone the race until August 27.
The race at Texas Motor Speedway will resume with Lap 72 of 248, which will be on a Saturday night. There will be practice and autograph sessions during the day, followed by the conclusion of the race. Jay Frye stated that James Hinchcliffe will be the leader when the race resumes. There will only be two events after the Texas race; the Watkins Glen event (replacing Boston) on September 4, and the double-points paying event at Sonoma on September 18.
Jay Frye, IndyCar President of Competition and Operations, said that the series wants to come back to finish the race in it’s entirety. “The people at TMS do a great job, so what we will do, per our rulebook, is start the race from where we stopped. So we will come back and start the race from that point.”
Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage echoed Frye’s comments. “We maybe could have hung around and try to get it dry tonight and run enough to get halfway, but that’s not right. We want to give the fans a race. That’s the plan.” Tickets for the original race date will be honored, and broadcasting information will be announced at a later date.
Two drivers that likely won’t be racing on August 27 are Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden. The two came together on a frightening crash on Lap 42 on Sunday. Conor was on old tires and his Dale Coyne Racing machine began to spin coming off Turn 4. The car then snapped back to the driver’s right, and collected Newgarden. Josef’s car flipped on it’s side, and went head-first into the SAFER barrier, leaving the ground twice. Newgarden was shaken upon exiting the car, and was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas where was diagnosed with a fractured right clavicle and a small fracture in his right hand.
“Thank you to Dallara, IndyCar, the Holmatro Safety Team, and everyone we work with at Texas Motor Speedway,” Newgarden said. “The car held up great and the response from the safety team was amazing. I’m banged up a little bit, but I’m generally Okay. “That’s all thanks to IndyCar and all the work everyone within the series does. I am feeling a little pain, but I hope to be ready to rock and go again soon.” Fortunately Josef is okay, because it could have been much worse. Video of the incident is below.
On a related note, Bill Pappas (VP of Competition and Engineering) told Motorsport.com that IndyCar plans to introduce aeroscreens for the 2017 season. Pappas also confirmed that the rollhoop on Newgarden’s car broke after it punctured the SAFER barrier wall upon impact.
The next event on the schedule is one that many people have been looking forward to for a long time. The series returns to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America on June 26. NBC Sports Network will have coverage of the race, which begins at 12:30 PM ET on Sunday.