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DATE News (chronologically)
06/08/09
irl
Drivers say IRL has turned IndyCar into 'snooze fests'
Ed Carpenter
Visions Racing's Ed Carpenter, the stepson of team and series owner Tony George, laid into IndyCar technical staff (headed by Brian Barnhart) for ruining oval track IndyCar racing at most tracks and specifically at Texas Motor Speedway

"I'm disappointed for the fans in particular because Texas is supposed to be exciting racing and unfortunately the cars are too similar now and it weakened the product."

"I've never seen this race turn into a one groove track before. We want to put on a good show and I'm afraid this was not it."

"You couldn't pass and you couldn't pass guys that were a lap down. It doesn't take much of a block and suddenly you find yourself running behind lapped cars all night long."

"It turned into a fuel strategy, track position, no passing race and no one wants that. Texas is usually the place you shouldn't have to be playing fuel strategy gambles. This is a place you should be able to drive from the back to the front and unfortunately it is just not that way right now."

"The last 20 laps were some of the most frustrating I've ever driven," Ryan Briscoe said on the telecast. "You lead the whole race and get done in pit lane after leading the whole race. It's not that we did a slow stop; the advantage that pit-out has gave the 3-car guys so much of an advantage.

"The cars are just so evenly matched and it's so hard to pass," he added. "I'd try to get a bit of a run and go on the high line, but I just couldn't get it done. It was very frustrating to know I was going to come second after dominating the race."

Two-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, who finished third behind the two Penske cars, added, "The racing needs to get better," Dixon observed on TV. "We used to be able to go around the outside and have side-by-side racing here, but at the moment, you just can't do it.

"I think the cars are too identical, and they need to open up the rules again to get a bit of difference between the cars."

A bit later in the top-three news conference, Dixon elaborated. "You used to be able to run a lot of different things, even down to mirrors," he said. "I think we need to open a few things up and see how it works. Maybe they need to trim the cars out a bit. When we first came here, we were running 223 mph and now we're at 210 in the race.

"The cars by all means aren't easy to drive," he added. "Your grandma couldn't get in and go out there. But it's too even, I think. I know it's a growing process with the series and the drivers. But at the moment it just doesn't put on the show it should, and has done before."

Much to IndyCar's credit however, is the fact that side-by-side racing, while exciting to watch, could result in tire-to-tire contact that could send an entire car up and over the catch fencing and into the race crowd.  Should that ever happen, open wheel racing on oval tracks will be over as no insurance company is going to insure an event that could result in so many people being killed in one fell swoop.

So while the new rules package has resulted in boring processional single file races, it is safer.

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