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Rain falling at IMS

Source: James Black/Penske Entertainment / other

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Drivers and teams began practice for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 in earnest on Tuesday at around 9 a.m. The “earnest” accounts for the fact that the day seemed doomed from the get-go.

A large, but light, rain shower moved into the Indy Metro not even a half hour after drivers began turning laps on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

Before the rain arrived 29 drivers wasted no time in stretching the legs of their respective machines. The driver who stretched his machine the most was 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon.

He was able to turn just nine laps, but topped the speed chart with a staggering speed of 229.107 mph.

One-off drivers Marco Andretti and Takuma Sato got up to speed quickly as well as you might expect. Andretti going 228.399 mph and Sato 225.551.

These speeds are virtually meaningless in the grand scheme of things as drivers turned laps in their race day trim.

Among the drivers who were not able to get up to speed were defending champion Josef Newgarden, sidelined with a censor issue on his Penske machine, and Kyle Larson who is already showing himself to be a favorite to win after a head-turning showing at the April Open Test.

“It’s good to finally have the Indy 500 here,” Larson said. “I’ve known about this (double attempt) for a couple of years now, so it’s been a lot of waiting. Just happy to get this experience underway. The weather is getting in the middle of things today, but once we get through today, it should be good.”

Larson had some bugs that kept him from getting out on course for more than just a couple of installation laps.

The forecast looks more promising for Wednesday’s practice session which will have an extra two hours added to it to make up for lost time from Tuesday. Practice will begin at 10am EDT and run until 6pm.

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