INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials found a way to rev up fans Saturday.
They're giving them a second chance to watch qualifications.
After initially announcing general admission tickets from the first day of qualifications, which was rained out, wound not be honored Sunday, speedway officials reacted to a fan backlash by reversing course.
Initially, they said the decision was made because the morning practice session was completed and two drivers, Carlos Huertas and defending Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay completed their four-lap qualifying runs. Three-time series champion Scott Dixon completed one lap on his run before the yellow flag came out because of light rain and the rest of the afternoon session was canceled as heavier rain continued to fall.
Organizers later said both of the completed runs would be wiped out and all 34 drivers would have get qualifying attempt Sunday morning. The top 30 cars will be locked into the 33-car field, the nine fastest will participate in an afternoon pole shootout and there will be a 45-minute bumping session — weather permitting.
Angry fans made their voices clear as they left the track and on social media.
For speedway officials, who have been searching for ways to fill seats, it seemed like a no-brainer given the sparse crowds that showed up for this week's practices. Now fans still holding tickets from Saturday will be admitted Sunday at no additional coast, and more seats should be filled.
The second decision garnered more praise and attention than the initial one.