IndyCar tweaks restart format

5/28/2011 - IndyCar

INDIANAPOLIS -- IndyCar Series officials have compromised with angry drivers and agreed Saturday to make a slight change to the new double-file restart rule that will be in place at the Indianapolis 500 for the first time.

Instead of throwing the green flag for restarts when the cars are even with the first pit box on pit lane, the restart zone will, as previously done, allow the drivers to accelerate in the area between Turns 3 and 4.

The change will enable the outside line of cars to avoid some of the loose rubber (known as marbles) that builds up on the outside area of the turns.

The drivers were concerned about coming out of Turn 4 in the outside line and getting debris on the tires from the turn before accelerating.

The cars still will restart double-file, but throwing the green flag sooner will enable the drivers to spread out more and avoid some of the danger that comes from marbles on the upper part of the racing surface.

Double-file restarts were added to IndyCar racing this season. It's similar to the rule NASCAR adopted two years ago to allow all the lead-lap cars to start up front side-by-side on the green flag after every caution.

It often increases the chances of cars running into each other, so there are more safety concerns in an open-wheel car that has no fenders.

Terry Blount is a senior writer for ESPN.com.