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DATE News (chronologically)
09/13/12
IRL
IndyCar drivers feel better about ovals at finale
''We feel better because of the changes to the formula,'' IndyCar points leader Will Power said. ''For the past however many years we had that pack racing and had gotten lucky and there had been some horrific accidents and horrific injuries, but no one had been killed. Eventually, in the law of averages, someone is going to be (killed) when you race like that.

''I feel great, and after Texas, I wouldn't have minded if every race was like that, with that formula, because that was the most fun I've had.''

It's a huge difference from three months ago, when the debate over the rules package raged deep into the race weekend at Texas. The drivers were unanimously opposed to the pack-style racing that was cited as a factor in Wheldon's fatal accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but finding a solution wasn't so simple.

Although they voted to recommend less downforce on their cars, finding the right number was a moving target and tweaks were made after almost every on-track session.

''All the drivers agreed we need less downforce, and it's bloody tough to get all the drivers to agree on something and execute and then get the series to actually do it,'' Power said.

In the end, IndyCar's rules package worked just fine.

''I think that was a big wake-up, like, 'Oh, wow, the race was great, you had to drive the car, they were all moving around,''' Power said. ''Everyone is like, 'Yeah, that's real racing.' We actually put the driver back into the equation, on ovals, and that's the direction we need to keep heading. Because what we were doing, spending two hours racing inches apart, wasn't even real racing. It was just wide open, you aren't even driving, you are just guiding the thing. Side-by-side, lap after lap after lap after lap, no one passes anyone.

''It required not much talent with quite a lot of risk.''

So the drivers headed into Fontana, which opened Wednesday for an eight-hour test session, confident a reduction of downforce will ensure there's no pack racing Saturday night.

Tony Kanaan, who with Justin Wilson and Dario Franchitti leads the drivers group, said a meeting two weeks ago in Baltimore went well.

''Having done Texas, it helped a lot, and in Baltimore, nobody was as concerned as they were before we got to Texas,'' said Kanaan, adding a large part of the issue with racing on ovals was the emotional scars from Wheldon's death.

''That was actually 90 percent of the problem. It's in our heads sometimes, so (Texas) helped. Psychologically, Texas did it for us.'' Yahoo Sports
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