IndyCar boss forced to back down on record run at IMS this May
Chasing Indianapolis Motor Speedway's speed record is still being considered, but the exhibition effort won't happen this month, the Indianapolis 500's chief steward said Tuesday.
Brian Barnhart said the timing of the event isn't right, which means Arie Luyendyk's official track record, a lap of 237.498 mph set during qualifying in 1996, will stand a little longer.
But a summer attempt is still possible, he said.
"There's still a lot of interest in doing it," Barnhart said.
The challenge of achieving CEO Randy Bernard's promotional goal goes beyond driving the car. Honda Performance Development, which makes the V-8 engines for the Izod IndyCar Series, would need to make several new components, and its focus now is preparing for up to 41 competitors this month, the largest number Honda has faced since becoming IndyCar's exclusive engine supplier in 2006.
Those competitors also are reluctant to focus on such a pursuit when the challenge of the 100th-anniversary 500 looms.
Rookie drivers begin their preparations May 12; veterans start practice May 14 with qualifications the next weekend.
"The timing isn't the best right now," Barnhart said. "It's pretty complicated to do this."
IndyCar is in the final year of its equipment package that was introduced in 2003. While speed averages have varied over the past eight 500s, it's expected that this year's marks will be similar to those of a year ago.
Helio Castroneves of Team Penske won the 2010 pole with a four-lap average of 227.970 mph. Indy Star