IRL engine costs to skyrocket

The word in Indy is that engine costs for the month of May will go up substantially and Honda and Toyota will have to build more engines for free (yes free because they are freebies to some teams). With bumping now far more possible, no one will be immune. Each car is allowed 12 attempts to qualify. Yes, you read that right, 12. That means we are going to see a lot of drivers putting in a lot of laps during the four days of qualifying trying to string together that perfect 4 laps during happy hour. If you think you are in the field with one car, you will be out there pounding out laps in your backup car in practice and then in qualifying because no one may be immune to bumping, not even the polesitter. With the drivers putting in so many more laps that increases the chance they will lose control and pulverize one of their cars against the unforgiving walls, resulting in higher costs to the teams as well.

"Before, if you qualified eighth or ninth on the first day, that was a pretty solid run," said Mike Hull, Ganassi's managing director. "You'd say 'This is gravy' and watch to see where everyone ended the day. Now, what do you do? Are you going to withdraw your time and go again? I think you are."

"What it needs is 60 or 70 cars, that's what always made Indy what it was," said Tony Stewart. "If the changes make it exciting for the fans, then it's a good thing. If it's just another gimmick, I'm not sure it will help. But at least they're willing to try."

"It will be interesting to see," said Ganassi, who qualified five times for the race as a driver. "I think the new format has the ability to use up a lot of engines."

"Now, if you're in the eight, nine, 10 or 11 spot, you have to hope you don't get bumped," Manning said. "But you're still going to have to keep going out and be ready to requalify. It's going to be exciting."

Panoz, Dallara and of course Firestone have their cash registers ready, Ca-Ching. Ca-Ching. Ca-Ching. 12 attempts. Imagine that! Quotes from AP article.

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