The return of rain to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday added to the frustration being endured by the one-off entry from Rubicon Racing, as Max Papis waited on the chance to qualify for the IndyCar Series' blue riband event.

The Italian made his return to the Brickyard during the first week of practice for the Indianapolis 500, but did not make an attempt to qualify on Pole Day after figuring that the team had not managed to dial enough speed into the Lifelock Dallara to make the top eleven positions on offer. Hoping to make the field somewhere between twelfth and 22nd, however, Papis was made to wait by the weather conditions and will now have to make his bid next Saturday.

"It is going to be the same for everybody, except for the first eleven guys that actually can sleep soundly next week," he said, "For us and the other 22 guys, we are in the same boat. We will have to dedicate a little time to qualifying set-up next week and most of the time to the race set-up. This rain delay definitely hurts a smaller team more than anything else, because a smaller team needs more time to work and get the car tuned up. You can't make it up in a short time period without possible disaster."

Rubicon co-owner Jason Priestley agreed that losing two of the week's practice days to the weather had not helped the Sam Schmidt-assisted operation get Papis up to pace.

"Missing those two days this week leading into qualifying was tough," the former actor/driver commented, "We're a new team and still trying to set a lot of baselines and figure out where we are at, so it set us back a long way. But the big thing is to qualify and get into the show. Whether we qualify today, on day two, or even on Bump Day, you can win this race from anywhere. The key is to get in the show.

"I'm not concerned about getting in the field, it's just a matter of where we are going to end up. Obviously, you'd like to be as far forward as you can, but it's just a question of where we are going to end up."

 

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