Hats off to IndyCar’s new Race Director

A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I would like to applaud the new IndyCar race director, Beau Barfield, for an outstanding job Sunday at the Alabama IndyCar race. The difference has been immediate and very much appreciated.

In the past, whenever there was any type of minor incident on the track it was an automatic FULL course yellow. In today’s race, there were numerous minor incidents and the race director let the race continue to play out, relegating the incidents to LOCAL yellows. What a welcome change this was and it finally allowed the race the flow naturally over the 90 laps. He even allowed a piece of bodywork to stay in the middle of the track b/c it was off the racing line and it was not precluding drivers from making a pass into the next corner.

Finally, after three minor incidents were occurring at once (Sato’s stall, bodywork in middle of track, and Legge beached in sand), he finally called the full course yellow. But using an awareness not seen with regularity in many years by the race director, he allowed all the competitors to enter the pits under normal race conditions BEFORE calling the full course yellow because the final pit stops had already begun, and calling a full course yellow at that moment would have artificially given an advantage to some of the competitors based on whether or not the made their pit stop before or after the full course yellow was called. What great awareness!

My hat’s off to you Mr. Race Director! Finally someone gets it! Then, he cleaned up all three local yellow incidents at once. Wow! What a concept! Instead of having three Mickey Mouse, excessive, and unnecessary yellows (that will generally take the win or a good finish away from someone who had earned it all day and give it to someone who just happened to pit or be in the right place at the right time), we get just one yellow and the race gets the play out as close to natural as possible.

One of the best officiated races I’ve seen in the IndyCar series in a lonnnnng time. Race officiating like that makes me more willing to watch IndyCar races b/c it makes me feel that the race results will more likely reward the fastest drivers of the day, as opposed to the most fortunate or those waiting for a yellow. D. Hughes, Atlanta, GA

Dear Mr. Hughes, Of course Barfield gets it, he came from CART/Champ Car, which is where all the top IndyCar talent (drivers and teams included) came from. It was the best series in the USA until Tony George came along and destroyed it using family money and voodoo economics. Mark C.

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