NASCAR moved the restart zone at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course from just before the start-finish line to between turns 13 and 14. They hope that lengthening the distance between the restart zone and the tight Turn 1 right hander will decrease the chaos that has become a track signature.
According to Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suárez, the Driver’s Advisory Council strongly urged NASCAR to make the change after seeing the impact it made at the Chicago Street Race.
In my opinion, that is going to fix 70 to 80% of the problems.Daniel Suárez
In response to prodding, Suárez noted that there will always be drivers who take chances, and moving the restart zone won’t help that.
“You guys all want to watch a race,” Suárez said. “Nobody wants to watch a crap shoot. I was rewatching the race from last year and, at one point, we were like six wide in corner one. That’s impossible. I don’t think you can go six wide on a bicycle through there.”
Suárez expects there will still be some bumping and banging, like there is at most road courses, but it will be more considered and less embarrassing.
The other rule change that will affect Sunday’s race (2:30 p.m. EDT, NBC) is NASCAR’s decision to eliminate cautions after stages at road courses. Although there will still be strategy as to whether the race will be two or three stops, crew chiefs won’t have to make the decision between earning stage points and gaining track position.