Dual in Detroit: Lap 28 accident sparks double-file restart debate

Kevin C. Cox

Will Power believes the IndyCar Series' double-file restart policy contributed to his lap 28 accident with Sebastien Bourdais. He would like the league to revert back to a single-file restart procedure for every race on the schedule.

Will Power says it is time for the IndyCar Series to reconsider its double-file restarts procedure for road and street courses (plus Iowa and Milwaukee), but not everyone in the paddock agrees.

Power is a long-time critic of the policy and again questioned its application following a lap 28 accident with Sebastien Bourdais that also included eight other cars. Power pegged the congestion entering turn one on the restart rules and would like to see IndyCar uniform the single-file format currently used on high-speed ovals.

"They need to rethink these double-file restarts for open-wheel cars,'' Power said.

Mike Conway, the Saturday Detroit Dual winner, admitted that the format was a "disaster" when it was first introduced in 2011, but says that drivers have adjusted in the years since. Conway added that some circuits are more prone to creating accidents than others and that it's not completely due to the double-file format itself.

"Once we all got used to what it took to stay clean and out of trouble, then it was all right," Conway said. "So I don't know. Some circuits, I suppose, are harder because of the nature of the circuit ... I think it's like that anywhere -- one small mistake from anyone else can create that domino effect."

James Jakes finished second on Sunday and sympathized with Power to a degree, suggesting that the inconsistency of safety officials may contribute to the complications on restarts. He says that officials don't always completely sweep the dirt and dust off the outside groove, compromising drivers who have to start on that line.

"If the sweepers aren't out on the last corner here," Jakes said. "The guys on the inside have a huge advantage over guys on the outside. You have so many chunks of rubber that it's impossible to get the power down.

"I can see Will's point a bit," he added. "If we could get the sweepers out there on every caution, it would help. Obviously that's going to take up too much time so it's a tough one."

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