Flat out, as it is, is the quickest way around Indianapolis' 2.5 miles when you're in an IndyCar. But when the weather is cloudy, rainy and otherwise very May-in-Indy-like, there's not much of that whole racing thing happening.
That's the way it was again Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when rain and cool weather kept the track fully dark all day. At one point in the afternoon, teams were told green-flag conditions were less than a minute away when another rain shower popped in and washed out the day.
Now, the effects of so much downtime on IndyCar drivers who'd rather be practicing is starting to show.
The first sign? The above photo of 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon laying horizontally across the well-engineered front end of his Target Chip Ganassi Racing car. Dixon, helmet on the right-front and toes on the left-front, was doing what's believed to be the first ever "planking" of an IndyCar — though IMS historian and know-all Donald Davidson has yet to confirm.
And then, it spread thoughout the IMS garage Wednesday afternoon like new secret to going fast.
There was Arie Luyendyk Jr., a spotter this year at Indy, taking position from high above turn one.
Tony Kanaan took a planking photo with his his KV Racing team, and then one atop his bicycle.
Tomas Sheckter took his on Indy's famous yard of bricks. Rookie James Hinchcliffe struck a pose atop a precarious pole in the garage area.
And not to be outdone by their Ganassi rival, Team Penske got in on the act with Ryan Briscoe and Will Power showcasing their planking talents.
There was so much planking going on that IndyCar made a Flickr album some of the images.
So, are you confused? Don't worry — I hadn't the slightest clue what was happening. But it was nothing a quick search couldn't handle and soon I had received my Wikipedia education in the planking fad while reading about how some important folks in Australia had made statements against this growing social phenomenon, due to its potential danger.
There were apparently no planking injuries Wednesday at the Brickyard.
Of course, I can't leave out the cliché punch line from the day's activities: the IndyCar drivers had found a new way to go flat-out.
I'll be here all month.
To review, Wednesday, May 18, 2011, will stand out for one thing in the tremendous memory of Donaldson, IMS' historian. For on that day, IndyCar drivers made laying flat on random objects a 'cool' thing.
On tap for the next Indianapolis rain delay? Pet rocks.