Photo: Chris Owens
The scheduled 248-lap event at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) - the ninth race of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season - was stopped after 71 laps today by heavy rain. IndyCar and track officials announced that the race was suspended and will be completed Aug. 27 as a night race.
"We certainly want to come back and have a full race for the fans here in Texas," said Jay Frye, IndyCar president of competition and operations. "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. This is unique. It hasn't happened for a little while, but there are a lot of unique things here and we'll look forward to coming back Aug. 27."
The race was originally scheduled for Saturday night, but lingering wet track conditions from daylong rain prevented it from starting. The 22-car field took the green flag at 2:48 pm ET today, but was able to complete only 71 laps on the 1.455-mile oval before storms returned.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe (#5, Honda) was leading the race when the red flag came out. The cars will restart the race in August in the same order in which they were scored at the completion of Lap 71.
"We maybe could have hung around and try to get it dry tonight and run enough to get halfway, but that's not right," said Eddie Gossage, Texas Motor Speedway president. "We want to give the fans a race. That's the plan."
The last Verizon IndyCar Series race to start one day and finish on another came at Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2011. The race was red-flagged for rain and standing water on the track after nine laps May 1 and finished the next day. The last time an event was postponed until later in the season was at Texas Motor Speedway in 2001, when the race scheduled for Sept. 15 was delayed until Oct. 6 following the 9/11 tragedies.