Speedway Accidents Prove Need for Slower Speeds, Rahal Says

Increasing speeds have long been a part of the racing tradition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but Bobby Rahal would like to see that tradition set aside. He wouldn't mind if the cars were slowed.

"This month has been a bad month for accidents," he said, referring to crashes that killed rookie Jovy Marcelo, seriously injured Nelson Piquet and left Rick Mears, Gary Bettenhausen and others lucky to be alive.

"I guess you could always put a postscript to it that says all those accidents happened at less than racing speeds, and some people would say that speed isn't the villain," Rahal said.

"But I think we do need to slow them down because it's a little bit of Russian roulette out there right now. If something breaks in the car, there's a pretty good chance you're going to get hurt, and hurt badly.

"I think we have to change the construction of the cars, where the driver's feet are behind the front axle, and really do it this time.

"There's going to be a lot of cost to a lot of people, but my recommendation (for the Speedway) would be to tear up the warmup lane, put grass all the way up to the white line (marking the track apron) and put a different warmup lane on the inside of the guard rail.

"If they narrow the track up a little bit, it's obviously going to be a little bit slower. . . . I think we need a little bit of rationality put back (in racing). I think (now) we only get one chance, and that isn't fair."

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