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DATE News (chronologically)
06/20/10
irl
Iowa track surface could cause more crashes  Calling the undulation at the exit of turn one at Iowa Speedway a bump seems inaccurate. It's more than that.  The hazardous zone figures to be the turning point for today's Izod IndyCar Series race.

"It's bad," Helio Castroneves said.

"It's where you don't know what's going to happen," Tony Kanaan said.

"A moving target," Scott Dixon said.

But those are the drivers talking.

Ask anyone else about the uneven pavement above the passenger car tunnel, and the enthusiasm grows. They said it adds character to the track in central Iowa. Suspense, too. And action.

The smallest track on IndyCar's 17-race schedule debuted in 2007 with much fanfare -- a standing-room-only crowd of 35,000 -- but not much else. Because drivers could zip around the 0.875-mile oval without lifting off the throttle, passing was limited to the mistakes of others.

Not now.

Dixon drove through the treacherous spot for two hours Saturday during practice and saw a variety of lines taken. Some drivers went high, where the hump is less pronounced (though more wavy); others held the car as low as possible. Two-abreast is possible but risky because the low car bounces.

With fuel runs approaching a numbing 80 laps at about 180 mph, Dixon expects there to be separation of the drivers who can hang on from those who can't. The bump caught Milka Duno in qualifying and Hideki Mutoh in testing. They both crashed.

"It's going to add excitement for the drivers and obviously for the fans watching," Dixon said. Indy Star

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