The IndyCar race in last night in Texas was one of the best, most rewarding races I have been involved with as an an official. After the unfortunate death of Dan Wheldon last year the drivers and the series have been reluctant to race on high speed, high banked ovals where pack racing in an open wheeled car can lead to big wrecks. It is debatable wether we should be on these types of tracks, that’s a topic for another time. After the first drivers meeting the drivers wanted less downforce in the cars to reduce pack racing….we said “perfect” let’s bring back the driver in the car and make the car a bit more difficult to drive so you can’t just flat foot it around a high bank speedway… unless of course you have a really good car under you. After the first practice several of the drivers wanted the downforce back stating that they were hard to drive and that they couldn’t go wide open and that it wouldn’t be a good show for the fans….”What !” I was adamantly against giving them downforce back. IndyCar compromised and gave them a 1/8 inch wicker on the rear wing which didn’t really add back all that much downforce. My hats off to the IndyCar technical department as it turned out to be a very nice level of downforce. The cars were good at the beginning of a fuel run and as the tires wore the cars became more difficult to drive, for some very difficult and for others not so much. It came down to what driver and team had the best package and to which drivers could could get the most out of their cars without putting them in the fence. It was great to watch and “the cream rose to the top” as Justin Wilson won in an exciting finish as Graham Rahal brushed the wall in the closing laps. As far as Will Power getting blacked flagged while leading… it was a pure and simple case of blocking, it was dangerous and clearly defined in the drivers meeting. It is great watching the drivers do what they do best and putting the emphasis back on the driver!
Johnny Unser[Gallery not found]