Once the green flag flew, drivers wasted no time getting onto the track. With only an hour to dial in their setups, teams could waste no time on waiting for a clear track. Worse yet, the weather was beginning to change, with the wind picking up and temperatures dropping. With lower track temps, grip would be down and power slightly up. The Westerly wind would also upset the cars as they powered down the two long straightaways.
Carpenter's team pulled off quite the feat preparing his backup car in time for practice and qualifying. The car was competitive, but nowhere near as fast as his wrecked car.
Practice did not reveal much. Will Power was fastest, but his fast lap was in the draft: qualifying would have the cars on their own. Maybe it was the cloudy skies, but it seemed like every driver was rather grim and dejected. While their cars were all stable and smooth, they weren't pushing the limits the way they should have been. Qualifying was now a farce.
With the practice sessions complete, the green flag waved for Carlos Huertas, who would be the first driver to post his qualifying time.
Once out of the car, Huertas watches the Jumbotron to see how his time stacks up against his coming rivals.