Indy 500: Field of 33 set for 2011 Indianapolis 500

After a day of weather delays and drama surrounding Indianapolis 500 qualifying, the field of 33 is set.

Notable drivers like Mike Conway and Raphael Matos could not bump their way into the field, while Ryan Hunter-Reay was bumped by teammate Marco Andretti in the final seconds of qualifying.

“I’m gutted,” Andretti said. “I feel for Mike as well (as Ryan).”

Andretti was on the bubble for much of the afternoon before Alex Lloyd, driving the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing car, bumped him out with just a few minutes remaining to qualify.

Andretti rolled off pit road with 55 seconds left before qualifying was scheduled to end at 6 p.m. and posted a four-lap average speed of 224.628 mph in the No. 26 car to earn the 28th spot in the field.

“It was a roller coaster day,” Andretti said. “Luckily we were in the right place at the right time.”

It was a busy afternoon for Andretti Autosport, as Danica Patrick qualified after the track re-opened following a rain delay. For a time, it looked like she might not get another chance to qualify the No. 7 car as crews worked feverishly to dry the track for the second time on Sunday.

“You learn to never take it for granted, that’s for sure,” Patrick said. Every time I come here, it’s a different situation, it’s a different story, it’s a different feel out there.”
Conway and Matos waived off in their final attempts.

The final Indy 500 practice session will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.

4:55 p.m. – Danica Patrick bumps her way in to Indy 500 field

Danica Patrick has qualified for the Indianapolis 500 after a tense afternoon.

Patrick, driving the No. 7 Andretti Autosport car, posted a four-lap average speed of 224.861 mph, good for the 26th spot. She was the next driver up on the track when a second rain delay shut the track down. If the weather hadn’t cleared in time for qualifying to resume, she would have been left out of the field.

Qualifying resumed at 4:44 after being delayed about an hour-and-a-half. Patrick’s speed bumped Alex Lloyd and the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing car. Her qualification also put teammate Marco Andretti on the bubble.

Lintasberita at Google