INDIANAPOLIS -- A second consecutive rained out practice is forcing Indy 500 drivers to improvise.
Veterans have had one practice session this week, and although they can test setups today and Saturday, teams are doing anything they can to prepare for pole qualifying Saturday, even if it's making adjustments in the garage.
"The whole thing about this place is speed," said Buddy Rice, the 2004 Indy 500 pole and race winner. "If you can find a couple of tenths of a mile per hour by sitting there and looking at the car and cleaning it up and doing what you can, you're going to."
The lack of practice time may not hurt the drivers who come to Indy each year nearly as much as others.
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Unification of America's two biggest open-wheel series, the Indy Racing League and former Champ Car series, has created a large pool of talented rookies. Thirteen newcomers are trying to make the 33-car starting grid.
IRL veterans believed the extended practice time on the 2.5-mile oval would help the ex-Champ Car drivers get more accustomed to driving on ovals for the rest of the season. But they also need time on the track to figure out how the changing weather and tricky winds can affect the car's performance.
FI DRIVER RETURNS -- Formula One driver Heikki Kovalainen was declared fit to race in Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix, two weeks after he was knocked out in a high-speed crash in Barcelona, Spain.
"I feel 100 percent ... and we have done a lot of fitness training," said the Finnish driver with McLaren Mercedes.