Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

January 22, 2013

de la Bastide: IndyCar announces schedule changes

Iowa Speedway comes up with an interesting plan

There is nothing worse than watching an auto race that is going to be determined by fuel mileage. Fortunately, IndyCar is trying to alleviate that problem.

Occasionally, a race where pit and fuel strategy are critical factors in determining a race winner is OK, but too many times fuel economy dictates who wins.

NASCAR races at the Indianapolis, Pocono, Kansas and other tracks always seems to come down to the driver who stretches fuel for the most laps. The announcers proclaim the fuel window in a certain number of laps and then a driver and team pushes that window for the victory. It makes one wonder if there was some extra fuel hidden somewhere.

IndyCar announced Monday that the race distance for four events were being changed in an effort to discourage fuel-mileage racing. After all, the drivers are supposed to race flat out and not hold back in an effort to get every mile per gallon out of the car.

Three of the races with altered distances are either a street or road course. Long Beach will see a decrease of five laps to 80, St. Petersburg will be extended by 10 laps to 110 and Mid-Ohio will be increased by five laps to 90.

The race at the Milwaukee Mile will be lengthened by 25 laps to make it 250.

According to IndyCar, the new distances better match traditional fuel windows on each circuit.

“Changing the distances at these races will hopefully eliminate the strategy of saving fuel from the drop of the green flag,” Beaux Barfield, Izod IndyCar Series race director, said. “That will enable our teams and drivers to race hard for the full distance and improve the event’s entertainment value for the fans.”

Since St. Petersburg is the first race of the 2013 season, it will be interesting to watch to see if the increased distance has the desired impact.

IndyCar officials announced the 2013 television schedule with ABC covering six of the 19 events, including the Indianapolis 500, and the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) televising the remaining 13 races.

Series officials also announced that the starting field at the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 13 will be determined by three 30-lap heat races. The heat races will be run on Saturday and the feature event on Sunday.

Heat race one will consist of even-numbered positions, starting with position 8, from single car qualifying The second heat race will consist of the odd-numbered positions, starting with position 7 from qualifying.

The top two finishers in these two heat races will than compete in the third heat race along with the top six qualifiers to determine the first five rows for the Iowa Corn Indy 250.

It’s an interesting concept and should add some excitement to the Iowa race. What’s needed is for NBCSN to step up and television the three heat races. If the concept proves popular with fans, it could be implemented at other oval tracks, such as the Milwaukee Mile.

Ken de la Bastide may be reached at ken.delabastide@kokomotribune.com or 765-454-8580.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Sports briefs for Thursday, July 31 The Kokomo Post 6 senior baseball team dropped a 7-2 decision to Newburgh Post 44 in the American Legion state finals on Wednesday night.

    July 31, 2014

  • SPL - KT073114 - KT Colts - pic Colts focusing on situational improvement The theme at Anderson University carried over to the field, and the Colts' 14 turnovers were the fewest in the NFL last year.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT073114 - Brett Bowman column - column sig BOWMAN: Lambert captures McIntire event In the first-running of the Dwayne McIntire Memorial Race, Jordan Lambert beat a stellar field to claim the win Saturday night at the Miami County Speedway in Peru.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT073014 - Colts camp - pic COLTS: One week of camp in the books The first week of Indianapolis Colts training camp has ended at Anderson University, and the players received their first day off Tuesday. Practice resumes today with the daily morning walkthrough followed by a public session scheduled to begin at 1:50 p.m. More than 10,000 fans attended at least one of the first five practices this summer.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • BASEBALL: Sixers surge to win The Kokomo Post 6 senior baseball team scored a thrilling victory over Plymouth Post 27 in the opening round of the American Legion state finals on Tuesday night.

    July 30, 2014

  • SPL - KT073014 - Brett Bowman column - column sig BOWMAN: Gardner knew how to live life What is it about dirt track racing that makes me drop nearly everything and everyone around me to witness a race?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Wednesday, July 30 The Indiana Smash softball team won the North American All-Sanctioned 12-U World Series on Sunday. The Smash went undefeated in the tournament. Following pool play, the Smash went 5-0 in bracket play, then beat the Lady Lightning for the title.

    July 30, 2014

  • NCAA Concussion Lawsuit-9 [Duplicate] NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules CHICAGO (AP) — The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, socce

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Downey, Keagan mug Sixers begin state tourney play today The Kokomo Post 6 baseball squad heads to the American Legion state tournament at Plymouth today brimming with confidence. That’s good and bad.“I believe every time we step on the field our kids believe they are the team to beat,” said Kokomo skipper

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Tuesday, July 29 Northwestern sets 1st practice timesNorthwestern has announced its first practice times and dates for high school and middle school sports. All athletes must have a valid 2014-15 physical on file in the athletic office to participate. The times and d

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
SportsKT twitter
More kokomotribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.