IndyCar has announced that it will implement three-wide starts for the IZOD IndyCar Series races at Pocono International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway, a throwback to an old tradition where all Triple Crown races would start in this fashion.
The Indianapolis 500 is the other race that starts three-wide.
"After having the opportunity to test at Pocono and a successful event at Auto Club Speedway last season, we were able to analyze track data and compare to our current start procedure for the Indianapolis 500," IndyCar race director Beaux Barfield said. "Given the speeds of our starts, the location of accelerations zones, the spacing between rows and the length of the frontstraights at each track, we have decided to move forward with a three-wide lineup for the initial starts."
Three-wide starts have been the norm for the Indianapolis 500 since 1921 and were introduced to Pocono and the old Ontario Calif. Speedway in the 1970s and '80 for all three stages of the Triple Crown. Al Unser is the only driver to have won in 1978, accomplishing the feat in 1978.
Tony Kanaan won the 500 this year and will be looking to win the second of three legs on Sunday afternoon in the Indy Pocono 400. This season is the first year IndyCar has instituted a Triple Crown since 1989 when the stages were Indy, Pocono and Michigan International Raceway -- the last season Pocono was on the schedule.
Kanaan could win an additional $1 million bonus for winning all three stages, after already earning $2.3 million in winnings from Indianapolis.
All restarts at both Pocono Raceway and the season-ending MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 19, will be single-file.