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Blaney, who was one of those punted into a spin soon after a restart in the closing stages at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, believes there is a better way to avoid the chaotic scenes of the triple overtime attempts on Sunday.
It took almost an hour for the final 10 laps of the race to be run.
“It’s just the Wild West right now on that side at a few of those tracks,” said Blaney. “It’s like a roll of the dice if that restart is gonna work out for you or not, especially if you’re not in the first couple [of] rows. We’ll see if we can figure something out going forward.
“We’ve seen that with these restart zones at these tracks – Indy [Road Course] and COTA – of long straightaways leading to a very tight corner and everyone is always on the go button and wanting to make spots. Restarts are the easiest place to make spots and at those places you have to be just a bulldog to make anything up.
“I can’t think that watching the end of that race was very compelling. I mean, there was a lot of drama going on, but, man, it took us a long time to run the final three laps of that thing, and there’s just a lot of people’s drivers getting turned and stuff like that.
“Is that the best look for the sport of us jamming it in there five-wide every time and just bumper car-ing each other? No, personally, from a competitor standpoint, I don’t think that’s a good look for the sport.
“The single-file restart is something I’ve been hearing around, and at some tracks I could see it working – like COTA and Indy. [But] it hurts you for sure if you’re 20th and you’re lining up way behind the leader.”
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang spins
Photo by: Danny Hansen / NKP / Motorsport Images
Like Denny Hamlin suggested in his podcast on Monday, Blaney subscribes to the idea of moving COTA’s restart zone before the final corner, to allow the field opportunity to string out a little more before it hits Turn 1 hairpin after the long start/finish straight.
He mused: “Do you move the restart zone? Do you give the leader more of an opening window of when to go? At COTA, not a lot of other racing series have double-file restarts, but do you give the leader the choice where he can go anytime between [Turn] 19 and the restart zone?
“So you kind of have like a short [straight], slow down, turn, and then you have your long straightaway to where it kind of gaps everybody. You’re still doing double-file, but it kind of gaps a little bit to where it’s not everyone nose-to-tail, 15 rows deep, diving in there.”
Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Monster Energy Toyota Camry and Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, DeWalt Toyota Camry
Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images
Blaney even suggested making changes to the cars, making them more fragile when it comes to deliberate contact.
He said: “My couple of quick thoughts were like, OK, let’s mount the radiators on the front bumpers so no one destroys someone in the rear bumper – because you’re gonna bust your radiator. That would be a quick fix.
“Or take about 80 percent of the bracing away from the road course and short track cars. Now these cars are such tanks that everyone knows they can take it, and [drivers] take advantage of it. You didn’t see that with the old car because you were worried about getting a tire rub yourself and you were a little bit more mindful.
“Those are a couple of my short-term cosmetic ideas, but there might be something a little bit easier going forward to try to fix that. There’s a lot of differing opinions and ideas that are floating around and we’ll see what we come up with.”