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DATE News (chronologically)
06/19/10
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IndyCar’s New Hope - Push a Button, Then Pull Away
The Indy Racing League’s new “push to pass” button was designed to give drivers an extra boost at critical points in a race.

At the short-oval Iowa Speedway, one little push will last more than half a lap, and that could make for some very interesting racing Sunday at the Iowa 250.

The button, introduced by the I.R.L. last August, will be used on a short oval for the first time at the 0.875-of-a-mile Iowa Speedway, the only track that small left on the circuit.

“I definitely think it’s going to be interesting,” the Andretti Autosport driver Tony Kanaan said. “We don’t realize how big of a difference it makes until we get in and press that thing.”

Push to pass, also known as overtake assist, is designed to help drivers make and complete passes, keep other cars from passing them and navigate through lapped traffic.

At Iowa, each car will have 24 uses of the button, providing 10 seconds of extra horsepower with an eight-second recharge period between uses.

Not even the drivers are sure how those 10-second boosts will come into play on Iowa’s speedy, high-banked oval, where laps typically last about 18 seconds.

But the general feeling is that it could have a serious impact on how the race plays out.

“In such close racing that this track brings, it could even decide who is going to win,” Kanaan said.  More from NY Times/ AP Article

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