Hinch: All standing starts, or none (Update)

UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1, Let me start by saying, I love Hinch. In fact, I want to be Hinch. But Hinch is wrong about doubleheaders. They're done for commercial reasons and if he had looked at the empty grandstands while he was dominating that race he'd realize they couldn't draw two crowds.

As for standing starts I'm with him, although I disagree slightly with AR1. Ovals should be rolling starts regardless if they are unfair or not (since when was IndyCar racing about being fair), all road and street courses standing starts. Ernie Balapatucci, Brooklyn, New York

10/15/13 Last summer at the Honda Indy Toronto, James Hinchcliffe told Toronto Star Wheels writer Stephanie Wallcraft that he didn’t like double-headers because they weren’t fair to all the drivers. If a particular driver got hot in the first race, it could carry over into the second and he (or she) could wind up scoring many more points in one weekend than the others.

"If they’re going to have double-headers, they should make all the races double-headers," he said. "For instance, I dominated the race at Iowa (which he won several weeks before the Toronto stop) and if there had been a second race there, I think there’s a pretty good chance I would have dominated that one too."

He then went on to say that Scott Dixon had an unfair advantage at Toronto because he won both of the races that weekend. (As it turned out, Dixon scored close to maximum points at the recent Houston double-header and took over the points lead from Helio Castroneves, who had an absolutely atrocious weekend, with one race remaining.)

Hinchcliffe was at it again the other day over standing starts, which IndyCar tried several times at races this season. Says Hinch: go ahead and have them but not just at some races; have standing starts at all the races.

Hinchcliffe was home in Oakville visiting his parents for the Thanksgiving weekend and we had a chat at the tail end of last week. We touched on the near-disaster during the standing start at the first Houston race when he stalled and many of the drivers behind him just missed hitting his car. Of course, Ed Carpenter did clip him in the rear and put both cars out of the race.

"I am a fan, fundamentally, of standing starts," he said. "It puts more in the drivers’ hands and I like that there’s an element of talent involved. But obviously, if you’re doing it at a street track, there’s an increased risk because there’s that much less space for a car to go if something goes wrong.

"The other part of it is consistency, and I don’t think if you’re not going to do them at all the races that it’s necessarily fair to do them at any." Wheels.ca

[Editor's Note: Champ Car did a lot of standing starts and never crashed. Are IndyCar drivers not good enough? We agree, do them at all the races. They are much more exciting and fair than rolling starts. The Indy 500 field is so strung out at the start they look amateurish. A standing start at Indy on the front straight with all 33 cars lines up in formation would be sensational. Rolling start tradition? They brought in their #1 enemy to Indy, NASCAR, to undermine their livelihood. So tradition is already out the door.]

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