After problems with the track on Friday and Saturday, today it was the weather's turn to disrupt the proceedings ahead of the second race of the IZOD Indycar Series Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader.

A rainstorm washed out the scheduled 30-minute morning qualifying session on the 1.634-mile, 10-turn circuit, leaving organisers with no choice but to proceed as per the rule book and set the grid according to the entrant points standings as they were when they came into the weekend.

That means the two leading rivals for the 2013 series title, Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon, will line up side by side for today's race which is due to start shortly after 12.30m local time (6.30pm BST). Dixon won Saturday's first race in the doubleheader to slash Castroneves' points lead to just eight going into today's penultimate event of the IndyCar season.

"We probably would have liked to qualify," admitted Dixon. "It seems Helio is struggling a bit this weekend. To have that separation the grid similar to yesterday would have been nice ... If we were at a typical road course [then qualifying] wouldn't have been an issue with this amount of rain, but street courses seem to puddle a lot," he added.

"I would have liked to go out for qualifying, but I think ultimately it was a smart decision with such a short time between qualifying and the race," was Justin Wilson's opinion. "This track doesn't seem to drain too much. There's not a lot of camber in the road so it's just pooling up, and you've got a couple of really big puddles. And with an open-wheel car, that's not so wise. I think it's a smart decision. I'm disappointed not to get a shot at pole, but we'll move on now and work toward the race."

The use of entrant points to set the order rather than driver championship points means that part-time runners in this year's championship, like Mike Conway (Dale Coyne Racing), Luca Filippi (Bryan Herta Autosport) and Oriol Servia (Panther Racing) aren't unduly disadvantaged, although they will be starting somewhat further back than their race pace warrants - which could make for an interesting race when it gets underway with the second standing start of the weekend.

Race 2 starting grid

1. #3 Helio Castroneves Penske (C) (starting on Alternate tyres)
2. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi (H) (Alternates)
3. #77 Simon Pagenaud Schmidt (H) (Alternates)
4. #25 Marco Andretti Andretti (C) (Alternates)
5. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti (C) (Alternates)
6. #19 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne (H) (Alternates)
7. #10 Dario Franchitti Ganassi (H) (Alternates)
8. #27 James Hinchcliffe Andretti (C) (Alternates)
9. #12 Will Power Penske (C) (Alternates)
10. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi (H) (Alternates)
11. #11 Tony Kanaan KV Racing (C) (Alternates)
12. #5 EJ Viso Andretti-HVM (C) (Alternates)
13. #7 Sebastien Bourdais Dragon (C) (Alternates)
14. #67 Josef Newgarden SFHR (H) (Alternates)
15. #14 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt (H) (Alternates)
16. #18 Mike Conway Dale Coyne (H) (Alternates)
17. #78 Simona De Silvestro KV Racing (C) (Alternates)
18. #20 Ed Carpenter ECR (C) (Alternates)
19. #15 Graham Rahal RLL (H) (Primaries)
20. #16 James Jakes RLL (H) (Alternates)
21. #4 Oriol Servi? Panther (C) (Alternates)
22. #55 Tristan Vautier Schmidt (H) (Alternates)
23. #98 Luca Filippi BHA (H) (Alternates)
24. #6 Sebastian Saavedra Dragon (C) (Primaries)