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In three of those incidents, the car lifted slightly off the racetrack during qualifying weekend after impacting the SAFER barrier with the car's centerline parallel to the wall.
Because Dallara Automobili has a facility in Speedway, IN, just a few blocks from the Brickyard race track, they decided, in the name of safety, to cut three slots in the underwing supports of the new IZOD IndyCar Series DW12 race cars to lessen lateral stiffness even as they would maintain vertical stiffness by making these cuts.
Testing by Dallara earlier in race week found the stiffness of the underwing support could be a contributing factor to the car slightly lifting off the race track.
Will Phillips, vice president of technology for INDYCAR (sanction for the IZOD IndyCar Series racing at Indy) explained: "Dallara's response has been immediate to try and make sure all improvements possible could be implemented in time for the race--all credit to them. Feedback from observers, safety officials and drivers enabled Dallara to have the data very quickly, and their solution and response is a great example of how safety comes first."
Both INDYCAR and Dallara confirm the single modification for all 33 cars will be complete in time for Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 25.
Between the time the track opened and qualifying closed, a full nine days of practice (without a hint of rain or cold) there were these five crashes and every driver involved was checked, cleared and released to drive (mostly within an hour) from the infield medical center: Josef Newgarden, Bryan Clauson (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing), Oriol Servia (Panther/DRR), Ed Carpenter and Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi Racing).
The DW12 is having its first outing on an oval this weekend; it was designed to incorporate safety features that hadn't been on the Dallara car used from 2003-2011. Dallara's facility in Italy was the site of crash computer modeling and sled testing of the monocoque, the roll hoop, attenuator, side and bottom intrusion panels and the nose box.