Tires back on Grand Prix Track after rain forced evacuation

St. Petersburg, Florida -- It's day two of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and as you can expect, it was a wet one for spectators. The rain and lightning were so bad, organizers had to evacuate the grandstand.

But by 6 p.m., the thousands that were rained out had filtered back in through the open gates and the sounds of revving engines reverberated off of downtown St. Petersburg buildings.

Race organizers kept the gates open until 7:30 p.m. Saturday trying to make up for the races the lightning and pouring rain forced them to suspend. The same storms that put thousands of spectators outside the chain link fence until it started to clear up.

There has been one cancellation so far, that's the Perelli world challenge. But the main event, the Verizon IndyCar series, is still set for tomorrow and race officials say they are still on track for a Sunday finish.

Even so, that didn't help some race goers like Shane Effertz who didn't even make it in.

"We drove down here and they told us they were letting people out because of the tornado warning," Effertz said.

Race goer Kevin McClernon was in the same boat.

"Well, started out the practice was great, then the rain moved in, the tornado watch, they moved everybody inside to Al Lang Field ... told us to take cover. We've been in there for about an hour and a half."

But the revised schedule has been set, and race organizers say they hope the crowds will take heed.


Updated Afternoon Schedule for Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, FL, March 29, 2014, as of 4:03PM - Following a rain delay, the gates to the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg have re-opened and a revised track schedule has been released, it is as follows:

3:30 – 4:00 Stadium Super Trucks race #1

4:10 – 4:30 Street Cleaning/Drying

4:40 – 5:10 USF2000 race #1

5:20 – 6:30 IndyCar Series qualifying

6:40 – 7:10 Pro Mazda race #1

The World Challenge race has been cancelled, tomorrow's race will run at 11:25 a.m. ET.


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