IndyCar drivers speak about three-wide start, aggression and balance following Thursday Pocono test

Michael Hickey

It was announced on Wednesday that a three-wide start would grace the fans like in years past at the Long Pond, Pennsylvania facility. Now the drivers give their opinion on the start and how the 400 mile race might shake out.

IndyCar is prepared for their first appearance at Pocono Raceway since 1989, and keeping with past tradition a three-wide start will start this year's race at the "Tricky Triangle." One competitor that spoke about his feelings toward this first non-Indy 500 three-wide start in modern IndyCar history was Marco Andretti.

"I'm all about tradition, the way I'm built so I love it. The straightaways are long enough that we could hopefully get it sorted out by Turn 1, that's my only hope."

Drivers, including Dario Franchitti, discussed further about what they expect and if aggression will play a factor as the race goes on.

"I think it depends very much on the driver. You know, three-wide it's not an issue because obviously the straight is just so wide. But Turn 1 narrows up quickly so that's going to be the tricky part is getting down to two-wide and then at some point single-file. You certainly have to be single file by the Tunnel Turn (Turn 2)."

Many drivers spoke about being comfortable during testing conditions, but how the cars will handle in race conditions and in traffic remains a question. The word that seems to be a key to success on Sunday is balance.

"The tricky part is getting the balance right in (Turns) 1 and 3, really. You can make the car good in one of the corners and hurt it in the other. The one that finds that balance at both ends is going to be rewarded" Marco Andretti noted.

Takuma Sato drives for legendary and four-time Pocono winner A.J. Foyt and had similar thoughts.

"There's two different characteristics between Turn 1 and 3, which made it challenging for the driver as well as the engineering for the car."

Sato continued remarking about his confidence driving alone, but pointed out that there will be a major adjustment needed once in traffic. Balancing the two will be crucial.

It remains to be seen exactly how the drivers and equipment will handle the environment on race day, but the test sessions leading up to Sunday's Pocono IndyCar 400 have certainly provided a glimpse of what to expect.

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