There’s an added sense of excitement that goes with racing under the lights. Throw in 24 degrees of high banks and speeds well over 200 miles per hour, and you’ve got IndyCar at Texas Motor Speedway, a combination that produces some of the most electrifying – and sometimes terrifying – action you’ll see anywhere.
And more often than not, the endings pay off. In 24 previous IZOD IndyCar Series events at Texas, 16 of them finished with a margin of victory of less than one second; eight of them have been decided by less than one-tenth of a second. The Indianapolis 500 may be their crown jewel, but one could argue that the wheel-to-wheel action and close finishes at TMS has been sort of a calling card for the series over the years.
The Firestone 550 at Texas (Sat., 8:30 p.m. ET, check local listings) poses a tough challenge that the drivers must endure. Navigating those high banks at such high speeds subjects them to intense G-forces. In addition, lower downforce levels on the cars’ aerodynamic packages at Texas means that they’ll have a harder time handling their machines around the entire 1.5-mile oval.
A new tire compound and left-side construction from Firestone should help in terms of added grip, but that won’t decrease the level of difficulty. Expect to see more than a few white-knuckle moments in this one.