INDY DAY 2: Chips, Dip and Paper Boats on Leach Day

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — As steady rain poured down the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pato O’Ward turned on Instagram Live and answered questions from his followers while whipping up a bowl of guacamole.

It wasn’t long before teammate Felix Rosenqvist strolled into O’Ward’s RV and joined in the social interaction. When they realized they were missing Juan Pablo Montoya, Rosenqvist summoned the third Arrow McLaren SP driver for the Indianapolis 500 to the camper for fries and a dip.

The bored trio passed the time responding to fans, and when O’Ward held up an empty bowl of guacamole for the camera, the McLaren drivers ended the session and looked for something else to do: they made boats paper and tried to run them through the puddles. on the pit lane.

It was the most exciting of day 2 of the preparations for the 106th race of the Indy 500.

IndyCar had scheduled six hours of track on Wednesday but the rain left no one a chance. Series officials called it a washout with nearly three hours remaining on the clock.

WILSON’S RELIEF

Stefan Wilson strolled up to the fourth floor of the IMS media center, soaked and looking for a little chat to pass the time.

His first two days on the speed circuit were mostly waiting. Because his deal as the 33rd and final entrant was only announced 13 days ago, Wilson has been at the mercy of his hybrid team of Cusick Motorsports and DragonSpeed.

The entry is powered by Chevrolet and aided by what appears to be half the paddock. The chassis came from AJ Foyt Racing; the utility cart is from Juncos Hollinger Racing; Team Penske lent a pit lane refueling tank and nitrogen bottle carrier; Andretti Autosport donated Wilson wheel guns, setup pad and water extinguishers.

Wilson was unable to participate in Tuesday’s veteran session because he had not yet passed the refresher test required to race the Indy 500 on May 29. He therefore spent two hours alone on the track on Tuesday afternoon, then returned with the rest of the field at the very end of the day.

“Given where we were on Sunday when the car was in a lot of pieces, and it was in fewer pieces on Monday, and even fewer pieces on Tuesday, it’s very encouraging to see the progress and we have a good base to build on,” Wilson told The Associated Press.

Wilson thanked Jay Frye, chairman of IndyCar, for working with other teams through a labor shortage to ensure Wilson got into the race.

“If we couldn’t have raced this year, I’m not sure we could have come back and tried next year,” Wilson told AP.

His effort is with friend Don Cusick, who made his Cusick Motorsports debut in last year’s Indy 500 with Wilson. The car is again sponsored by LOHLA Sport and Sierra Pacific Windows.

BEGINNERS’ LUCK

Danish rider Christian Lundgaard opened May with his first trip to the Kentucky Derby, where he found himself victorious in his first horse race.

The IndyCar rookie used a $6 holding in his pocket to bet on Rich Strike, a horse he picked only because his odds were the longest. When Rich Strike pulled off the upset, Lundgaard collected a payout of $490.

It wasn’t his only win at Churchill Downs either. Lundgaard placed a $48 bet on a previous race on horse number 48 “because there were too many signs” for him not to make the bet in the 148th running of the Derby.

“I said Jimmie Johnson was going to win because obviously it was 48 and he ended up winning and that was a lot of fun. Because I was certain that ticket was going to win,” Lundgaard said.

So does Lundgaard now believe that Johnson, like Lundgaard a rookie in this year’s Indy 500 field, will win the May 29 race in No. 48?

“No,” he said.

Can Lundgaard in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan entry?

“I think everyone has a fair chance,” Lundgaard said. “We just have to finish the race and see where we are.”

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Earnest A. Martinez