IndyCar teams nearing respite from busy month

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 23, 2014 at 2:26 am •  Published: May 23, 2014
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Chip Ganassi's team prepared three different sets of cars in three days, then had to find speed overnight when qualifying didn't go well.

Michael Andretti's team spent this week preparing Kurt Busch's backup car for race day — after the team spent last week scrambling to find a replacement driver for the injured James Hinchcliffe.

No, this hasn't been an ordinary May at Indianapolis, especially for the men and women who work behind the scenes.

"I think it is easy to get behind," said Mike Hull, Ganassi's managing director. "I think as good as you might think you are in terms of being prepared for all of the eventualities that could happen to you, it's all in the recovery. That's what racing is."

And it may not be over yet.

Heavy rain late Wednesday washed away much of the rubber that accumulated on Indy's 2.5-mile oval over the past two weeks, creating more potential chaos for crews in Friday's final practice session. Any missteps would force the already worn out crews to continue working overtime before the Indianapolis 500 begins at midday Sunday.

For anyone working on a car at the historic speedway, this has been a grueling month.

It started with three days on the speedway's new road course and no margin for error. Less than 24 hours after the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis ended, most of the 33 cars starting the 500 were back on the track after either being swapped out or converted into oval-racing setups.

Ganassi's team was just getting started.

Rather than making one change, one of IndyCar's power teams made two changes — removing the engines from the road cars, installing them in the backup cars, then removing the engines from the backup cars and installing them in the primary cars, all in a 48-hour window. And two of the road-course cars, the No. 9 of Scott Dixon and the No. 10 of defending champion Tony Kanaan, went back to the team's shop for a complete rebuild.

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