The Indy 500 begins on Sunday morning, but the action on the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been non-stop for the last two-plus weeks. With testing, tuning and qualifying all in the rear-view mirror, all that's left is the race itself as the field of 33 takes the track on Sunday for 500 miles of racing.
Rain dominated the early practice sessions as teams spent more time in the garage than on the track itself, cutting into valuable tuning time ahead of the two days of qualifying sessions. With the majority of the week leading up to qualifying rained-out, teams were flying blind ahead of qualifying, and it showed.
Qualifying was tense as Michael Andretti's race team was unable to find the speed during Saturday's Pole Day, forcing Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti and others to run again on Bump Day. Patrick came ever-so-close to missing the field after a failed inspection forced her to the back of the line as rain began to fall. After multiple delays, Patrick was able to make the field while turning in one of the fastest speeds of the day.
After Andretti Autosport bought-out Bruno Junqueira to give Ryan Hunter-Reay a car for the Indy 500, the field was set. Hunter-Reay headed to the back of the pack, but was in the race after narrowly missing in qualifying sessions. The full starting grid, led by Alex Tagliani on the pole, can be found here.
The race gets underway at 12 a.m. on ABC, preceded by a one hour pre-race show.
For more on the race, stay with our 2011 Indy 500 StoryStream. Be sure to head over to Pop Off Valve for all things IndyCar, including the three excellent Indy 500 resources: The Indy 500 experience, Indy 500 traditions and the history of the Indy 500 and the Brickyard.