This season, IndyCar has introduced double-file restarts, and drivers are concerned about the potential effects. Obviously, this rule is in effect for the 2011 Indy 500, as it is an IndyCar series race, despite the fact that it feels like a separate event to many. Paul Tracy has a positive attitude, stating "They tell us what to do, and we do it," but other drivers feel differently. Marco Andretti thinks IndyCar is trying to "imitate NASCAR," Tomas Scheckter thinks "there's probably gonna be some crashes," and Alex Tagliani was the most blunt of all, calling the restarts "really stupid."
So, why have double-file restarts in IndyCar? It's possible that Andretti is onto something with his theory that they're trying to imitate NASCAR, but according to IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard, it was team owners who spoke up and fought for the change. There's no way of knowing whether the move was a business decision or a purely competitive decision, but a couple of things are clear. These restarts are probably dangerous, and definitely unpopular.
The cars that you will see in this weekend's Indy 500 are considerably faster, lighter, and less durable than stock cars, so it's entirely possible that we could see some nasty crashes as a pack of cars attempts to enter the first turn double file. IndyCar and the drivers have had a couple of weeks to figure out double file restarts, but it's obvious that the kinks aren't all ironed out and that the giant 2.5 mile oval that is Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a completely different animal. Let's just hope no one gets hurt during the race.
For more on the race, stay with our 2011 Indy 500 StoryStream. Be sure to head over to Pop Off Valve for all things IndyCar, including the three excellent Indy 500 resources: The Indy 500 experience, Indy 500 traditions and the history of the Indy 500 and the Brickyard.