SPEED.com reports that the IZOD IndyCar Series will adopt NASCAR-style double-file restarts for oval races this season, starting with the Indianapolis 500. Street course and road course races will continue with the current single-file restart system.
Two-abreast restarts were utilized by CART in the 1990s, but have never been used in the Indy Racing League. NASCAR adopted double-file restarts in 2009 and the move was widely acclaimed by Sprint Cup drivers.
“Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi say it works with NASCAR and creates better racing and that's what we're supposed to be about,” IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard told SPEED's Robin Miller. “I believe this is a very positive move that Brian (Barnhart, series chief steward) is making. It's a lame duck year for the car and we promised our fans better competition and value, so this fits.”
SPEED reports that Bernard will discuss the new restart format with IndyCar drivers and team owners prior to his IndyCar "State of Union" press conference this afternoon in Indianapolis. The new format figures to be a prime topic for the press conference, as is the location of the 2011 season finale, expected to be announced for Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 16, and the future of the Edmonton street race, which series organizers have been trying to get back onto the schedule after its abrupt cancellation last fall.