IndyCar updates aero specs for Pocono 400

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INDYCAR has announced an update for the aerodynamic specifications to be used in Sunday’s 400-miler at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.

Through an update of Rule 14.6.5.5 of the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook, the underwing strake has been added to the list of optional parts that can be used on the Pocono spec to create more downforce. This comes after a collection of feedback from drivers, engineers and teams on various configurations used during testing.

The optional parts also include a side wall, trimmed side wall, rear wheel backing plate, sidepod top infill, 2/3 radiator inlet shutter, and rear wing wicker. Mandatory parts include a rear mainplate between zero and negative 10.5 degrees, a rear mainplate profile and the rear wheel guard used at the Indianapolis 500.

Eight IndyCar squads tested last week at Pocono, and the series will stage an Open Test there on Thursday in advance of Sunday’s race.

Reviewing Danica Patrick’s highs and lows at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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So much of Danica Patrick’s fame can be traced to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It’s where she became a household name 13 years ago when she became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 and emerged as a transcendent athlete.

It’s where everything started. This Sunday, it’s where everything will end, too.

In her last warmup before starting the final race of her career, Patrick had a bumpy final practice Friday on Carb Day. She was eighth fastest, but her Dallara-Chevrolet was in the garage most of the session because of an electrical problem in the engine. After returning during the final 10 minutes of the session, Patrick’s No. 13 seemed to be OK.

“At the end of the day, these are things you’re actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done,” she said. “I’m glad to get the issues out of the way early on. Overall, today felt good. We made some changes when I went out the second time, and I’m feeling good about starting seventh on Sunday.”
Though she has had her share of success – along with a fourth in her debut, there was a third in 2009 and six top 10s in seven starts — Patrick has learned well how to handle frustration at the 2.5-mile track, too.

Fuel mileage might have kept her from winning her debut, a pit collision ruined 2008, and an unstable setup made 2010 a wild ride.

For a review of her up-and-down history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and her legacy in racing, watch the video essay above that ran during Friday’s NASCAR America Motorsports Special on NBCSN.