IndyCar race director Beaux Barfield is optimistic that the grinding work underway on the start of Baltimore's main straight will alleviate the bump issues that forced the opening session to be cut short.
Several cars were launched completely airborne by the bump, which lies just before a section of railway line on the main straight. The bump appears to have also exacted a toll on the cars, with Chip Ganassi Racing suggsting that Charlie Kimball's engine failure during morning practice may have been triggered by damage caused by a heavy landing.
The problem appears to have been exacerbated by grinding work that was done to remove road markings, but inadvertently changed the profile of the track surface.
"It doesn't look like grinding that was intended to change the profile of the pavement," Barfield said. "But if you look at the profile of the pavement, the front edge before you get to the tracks, there's just enough of a lip that it bottoms out and launches the car."
The series originally planned to solve the problem by adding a temporary tire barrier for practice two and then building a permanent chicane overnight. However Barfield is now optimistic that the situation can be addressed by regrinding the bump.
"After a quick evaluation from [track designer] NZR Consulting and the promoter [Andretti Sports Marketing], they've determined that there is a good possibility that some grinding could solve the problem," he said.
"We've got a grinder on site right now and we're waiting for approval from the city, and we're going to go out there and give that a try. We had talked about the possibility of a temporary chicane, and a permanent chicane that we would build tonight, and those possibilities are basically put aside if this grinding program works and we can run with a smoother track."
Barfield said that a temporary barrier is on standby if the grinding work is unsuccessful.
Simon Pagenaud said that he had expected the bump to be significant, but that he was surprised by just how severe it is.
"It was worse than I thought," he said. "On the first lap I went through it pretty easy and backed off a bit, but it obviously wasn't easy enough.
"On the first lap I launched quite a bit, and the second lap was even worse. The danger is spinal injuries, because when I landed it was a super-big hit – probably the biggest hit I've had in a racecar."