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INDYCAR ANNOUNCES SAFETY MODIFICATION TO SUPERSPEEDWAY AERO KITS FOR THIS WEEK’S FIRESTONE 600 AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  • Move Made As A Result Of Airborne Car Incidents At Indianapolis Motor Speedway During Recent Indianapolis 500 On-Track Activities 

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 2, 2015) – A safety modification to the new superspeedway aero kits for both Chevrolet and Honda will go into effect for this week’s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, INDYCAR officials announced Tuesday.

>The modification was in direct response to the on-track incidents at Indianapolis Motor Speedway leading up to the May 24 Indianapolis 500 where the cars of drivers Helio Castroneves and Ed Carpenter became airborne at the 2.5-mile oval. Neither driver was injured, but INDYCAR officials continued their pro-active approach to the incidents since they occurred.

Chevrolet and Honda have developed a closure panel for the front and back of their rear wheel guards, which will be a change from what was run at Indianapolis. This component is being implemented to eliminate lift when an Indy car is traveling backward at a high rate of speed during an incident. The safety modification also will be utilized at Pocono Raceway and Auto Club Speedway later in the Verizon IndyCar Series season.

“I think they have found an effective way to reduce and eliminate the lift that they had problems with in practice at Indianapolis,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “This is a logical approach to attacking this problem and hopefully we won’t see that here at Texas at all. I think this is a step in the right direction.”

INDYCAR also confirmed that the rear wing angle for all entries competing in the Firestone 600 must be set between (-6) and (-10.5) degrees. It actually is a slight increase in overall downforce compared to the 2014 Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway and the move is expected to enhance the overall racing.

“INDYCAR is also mandating a slight increase in the rear wing pitch and that will probably cause the cars to slow down just a little and I think that is a good move as well,” Gossage said. “That will also make the cars more drivable. We are pleased INDYCAR is working on this. We don’t know what these changes will bring until the green flag drops, but INDYCAR is trying and we appreciate that.”

The new speedway aero kits are a collection of more than 100 pieces of bodywork added to the standard Dallara DW12 chassis that was designed and built by the series’ two engine manufacturers, Honda and Chevrolet. Aero kits were introduced at the outset of this season, but the Indianapolis 500 was the first time they were utilized on an oval. The Firestone 600 is the ninth race of the season, but this will mark just the second time the aero kits will be used on a superspeedway such as Texas Motor Speedway’s high-banked, 1.5-mile oval.

The Verizon IndyCar Series opens on-track activities for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, beginning at 11 a.m. CT with a practice session. NTT Data Qualifying Day for the Firestone 600 will follow at 3:15 p.m. and then final practice at 6:45 p.m.

The Firestone 600 (248 laps/372 miles) will begin at 7:30 p.m. CT Saturday and be televised live on the NBC Sports Network. Live radio broadcasts will be available nationally on INDYCAR Radio, Sirius XM Radio and the IMS Radio Network as well as locally on KRLD-FM 105.3 The Fan.

Tickets are available for the Firestone 600 by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500.

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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