Rain Washes Out Qualifying
May 12, 2002 | 12:00 A.M. EST
The final day of qualifications, Bump Day, is scheduled for Sunday, May 19. Practice will resume at 11 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, with no on-track activity Monday or Tuesday.
No cars turned a lap on the 2.5-mile oval today. Track crews started to dry the racing surface at 1:37 p.m. (EST) after the rain subsided, but showers returned at approximately 1:50 p.m., forcing a complete washout.
This was the first time a full day of qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 was rained out since 1990, when Pole Day was delayed one day by rain.
The final nine spots in the 33-car field will be filled on Bump Day Qualifying, scheduled to start at noon (EST) Sunday. Among the drivers still trying to earn a spot in the field are two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, 2000 Indianapolis 500 MBNA Pole winner Greg Ray and Formula One race winner Johnny Herbert.
Herbert faces a dilemma in an effort to qualify the No. 32 WESTERN UNION/Duesenberg Brothers entry for his first Indianapolis 500. He is scheduled to compete in an American Le Mans Series race Sunday at Sonoma, Calif., in his full-time drive with the Champion Racing team. No decision has been made on Herbert's status for Bump Day, WESTERN UNION/Duesenberg team spokesman Paul Gatsos said.
"Well, I think it's my feeling that it's going to be Sunday only - straight into a qualifying, Bump Day scenario," Herbert said. "I want to do Sears Point, because I want to do it for Champion and for myself. Because obviously it's good for the rest of the year for the championship, but obviously I want to do this.
"I don't want someone else to get in the car and qualify, because then you'll have people saying, 'He's got someone else in there to qualify, and then he gets back in it to race.' I want to prove the point that I can do it, for one. The only way I can do that, is to do it. And it's not a nice situation, but I've got to work out that scenario."