The teams fielding cars for Matsuura, Franchitti and Buddy Lazier certainly would not have been upset if the IRL had skipped Sunday's 30-minute warm-up in St. Petersburg. All three crashed during the morning session, forcing their crews to work in a hurry to get their cars ready for the 3:45 p.m. race start.
This came one day after IRL president Brian Barnhart said the league is looking into the possibility of abolishing the warm-up at some of the three-day race weekends later this year, saying the original reasons for having the Sunday session no longer applies.
When the warm-ups were first scheduled, teams changed engines for qualifying on Saturday and then switched back to race engines for Sunday. Now, they use the same engines throughout the weekend.
Tom Anderson, co-owner of Matsuura's Fernandez Racing entry, said he's all for getting rid of the Sunday warm-up.
"The only reason to have a race day warm-up is if the weather has caused problems with giving the teams enough time on the track before that," Anderson said Sunday as his team scrambled to repair Matsuura's car, which was the worst damaged.
"If they want to make sure the teams get that 30 minutes, add it to practice on Friday or Saturday." More at AP Article