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Rainy Brickyard 400 News And Notes

Fans sit in the stands during a rain delayed practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images]

by Paul Gohde

The threat of an all-day rain in Indianapolis today has forced NASCAR to scrub any track activity until, hopefully, Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

If the track dries by tomorrow, the Monster Energy Cup Brickyard 400 is now scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. (ET), an hour earlier than originally scheduled, without any practice or qualifying. The 40-car field will start the race on Owner’s Points, per the NASCAR Rule Book, with Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick starting up front. The chance of rain on Sunday has decreased, especially for the afternoon, giving the Brickyard 400 a better chance to be run.

The Lilly Diabetes 250 Xfinity contest has been postponed until Monday at 10:00 a.m. (ET). Ryan Blaney and Justin Allgaier will lead the 40-car Xfinity field to Monday morning’s green flag.

Notes:

  • Monday’s Xfinity 250 will use the same aerodynamic package used at this event last season, which produced an event-record number of race leaders (8) and lead changes (16). That package has already been used at Pocono and Michigan in 2018.
  • With 41 Monster Energy Cup cars entered, Gray Gaulding’s Chevrolet will not start the Brickyard 400. Timmy Hill will not start the Xfinity race Monday for the same reason.
  • Roush Fenway Racing Ford driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on how working with Matt Kenseth would be helpful on this rainy weekend: “Obviously Matt’s got a lot of good experience around here, so I will lean on him. It’s something I was hoping to lean on throughout the weekend. That’s always nice to practice, have a break, sit down and talk about what the cars are doing, and then go back out and do it again. It doesn’t look like we’re going to do that this weekend…We’ve been here testing, so I feel confident that we did get a lot of track time then, so that was good…so the driving aspect is not something that we really worry about.”
  • Xfinity pole winner Ryan Blaney: “Having raced here before helps. All you can do (because of a lack of practice) is take notes from prior and figure out where you can do better. More experience helps you anywhere, but especially here because this is such a different race track. Nothing is more important than knowledge, and we can apply what we have learned here to this race.”
  • Saturday’s Florida Georgia Line concert at the track was cancelled due to the rain and all tickets will be automatically refunded.
  • Friday night’s scheduled ARCA race at Lucas Oil raceway in Clermont was also postponed until October 6th.

 

 

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Paul Gohde heard the sound of race cars early in his life.

Growing up in suburban Milwaukee, just north of Wisconsin State Fair Park in the 1950’s, Paul had no idea what “that noise” was all about that he heard several times a year. Finally, through prodding by friends of his parents, he was taken to several Thursday night modified stock car races on the old quarter-mile dirt track that was in the infield of the one-mile oval -and he was hooked.

The first Milwaukee Mile event that he attended was the 1959 Rex Mays Classic won by Johnny Thomson in the pink Racing Associates lay-down Offy built by the legendary Lujie Lesovsky. After the 100-miler Gohde got the winner’s autograph in the pits, something he couldn’t do when he saw Hank Aaron hit a home run at County Stadium, and, again, he was hooked.

Paul began attending the Indianapolis 500 in 1961, and saw A. J. Foyt’s first Indy win. He began covering races in 1965 for Racing Wheels newspaper in Vancouver, WA as a reporter/photographer and his first credentialed race was Jim Clark’s historic Indy win.Paul has also done reporting, columns and photography for Midwest Racing News since the mid-sixties, with the 1967 Hoosier 100 being his first big race to report for them.

He is a retired middle-grade teacher, an avid collector of vintage racing memorabilia, and a tour guide at Miller Park. Paul loves to explore abandoned race tracks both here and in Europe, with the Brooklands track in Weybridge England being his favorite. Married to Paula, they have three adult children and two cats.

Paul loves the diversity of all types of racing, “a factor that got me hooked in the first place.”