Despite driver pleas, 500 will use double-file restarts
Izod IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard is aware drivers are complaining about double-file restarts, but he reiterated Friday that the format will not change for the Indianapolis 500.
"As long as we keep that as a rule, they're not going to be satisfied," Bernard said of the drivers. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for (team owners) Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske. This was their idea. And this is racing.
"This is the rule that we implemented at the beginning of the season. It was no surprise to anybody, and we're going to continue with it."
Drivers will meet with Brian Barnhart, series president of competition and racing operations, next week to discuss specifics about how the double-file restarts will be officiated May 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's a bit of an unknown because the series' previous four races this season were on road/street courses.
"I prefer not to see them here," said Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti, Indy 500 winner last year and in 2007. "Especially as the marbles (bits of tire rubber) build up as the race goes on, it turns it into a lottery situation. If you're on the outside, if you can't get back in, you're going to wreck the car or lose multiple spots, so I don't like that fact.
"The best situation right now would be a later restart single file, something restarting down here where all the fans can see it, single file. You're going to see more passing that way, in my opinion. But my opinion probably doesn't count for that much."
Teammate Scott Dixon, the 2008 500 winner, said he doesn't like the double-file restarts, either.
Franchitti said it won't matter who is driving the car if it gets up into the marbles on a restart.
"You can put the best driver in the world on marbles here, and I don't care who they are, they're going to hit the fence," he said.
[Editor's Note: There will be carnage. Let's just hope they don't launch a car into the grandstands and injure or kill fans.]