Slower speeds for starts and restarts at Indy Indianapolis 500 officials are banking on slower speeds for starts and restarts to prevent chaos in Sunday's 100th anniversary race.
Chief steward Brian Barnhart said Thursday that the pack should get to the first turn about 30 to 40 mph slower than in the past, and that should allow for two-wide action.
The Izod IndyCar Series has turned to NASCAR-like double-file restarts following caution periods, an idea pushed by second-year boss Randy Bernard. The start of the 500 still will be three-wide, but there will be a later acceleration point allowing for better formation.
If IndyCar's calculations are correct, three-time winner Helio Castroneves said the cars can make it through two-wide safely.
"Yes, it does open the outside lane," he said. "But you've got to remember the outside lane needs to be clean" of excess tire rubber that builds through the race.
Barnhart said officials will use four sweeper trucks rather than the two used in the past.
"If they do that, that will be a good thing to have," Castroneves said. "With that, I think you're going to see side-by-side racing up to a certain point."
Barnhart said he has not decided where the restart zone will be, although he's leaning to it being even with the northernmost pit box. Indy Star
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