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  • consolation races?

    Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but did they used to run consi races at some of the Indy car races back in the day for those who DNQ? With the highly optimistic car counts we've been hearing, would that be something worth looking at again? I see two benefits. One, it would encourage increased participation if you knew you were going to get a chance to run no matter what, and two, it would provide valuable practice time for those not quite ready for the show, without putting the main show and its participants in jeopardy. Downsides I suppose it would put an extra strain on officials, resources, etc. I'm thinking about places like Richmond, where maybe a26 cars make the main, with 6-8 (heck, 14 if we could get the optimistic 40 some think may show at Indy to show at Richmond too) running a 50 lap sprint or something. Thoughts?

  • #2
    I think they're going to let 'em all run. Why not?

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    • #3
      Hey, it would really be nice if the high car count prognostications come to fruition, but I have to say that I'll believe it when I see it. And I'll be very happy if I do see it. But I remember several years back when Barnhart was claiming in pre-season that there were going to be 34-35 entries per race, and oh my, they were going to have trouble having enough pit stalls at some of the tracks for that many cars. How'd that prediction work out for ya Brian??

      Granted this scenario is different and it has more potential to actually produce a higher count, but I'd guess the real number will be in the range of 26-28 which wouldn't drive the need for a consolation event. Not a bad idea though!

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      • #4
        Judging by what I've heard about grid limits, there might be DNQs at all rounds, but there'd only be enough for a race (and a pretty good one at that) at Indy. By the way, even if there were enough full season cars to merit such races, they'd only be at 16 of the 19 rounds. Long Beach and Motegi wouldn't have enough with the split field and, judging by Eddie Gossage's comments on why he's refusing to let the IRL erect a podium @ TMS, I doubt he'd allow a consolation race @ TMS. Maybe if it were a "B" main transferring the top 3 drivers into the 550K, but even that's a stretch.
        Some fans claim one series or another runs "real race cars." What's everybody else running, fake race cars? :confused:

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        • #5
          I'm on the wait side too.....you will need in excess of 24 cars on the shortest track (Iowa, maybe Richmond) before any worries about DNQs. Anything else, 26-28 is the smallest field one would even consider....and most tracks, given that they can accomodate 43 cup cars, 30 or more Indy Cars should be easily accomodated.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by thehairpin
            Judging by what I've heard about grid limits, there might be DNQs at all rounds, but there'd only be enough for a race (and a pretty good one at that) at Indy. By the way, even if there were enough full season cars to merit such races, they'd only be at 16 of the 19 rounds. Long Beach and Motegi wouldn't have enough with the split field and, judging by Eddie Gossage's comments on why he's refusing to let the IRL erect a podium @ TMS, I doubt he'd allow a consolation race @ TMS. Maybe if it were a "B" main transferring the top 3 drivers into the 550K, but even that's a stretch.
            Wouldn't that be a great show!! Have teams qualify for the top 21 or 23 spots with a "B" Main transferring the top 2 and 1 promoters chioce for 24 or 26 in each race.

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            • #7
              As far as I remeber in USAC, CART, and the IRL there have never been consolation races. There was a qualifier for the 1981 Michigan 500, but there was so much controversy over who stayed and who went home, everyone raced, except for Jim Buick; who had crashed with Harry MacDonald. MacDonald was repaired and ready to compete in the 500, Buick was not able to repair.


              A qualifying race is not a bad idea, but unfeesable (sp) these days.

              Another note I have mentioned on this forum over the years and hundreds of times it seems about car counts. In the USAC days, if it was'nt Indy or a 500 miler, the usual race fields were 19 to 22 cars, more often 17 or 18. Only in 1983 did car counts become larger, with CART having 32 to 35 car turnouts in '92 and 93. I am a traditionalist, who does warm to change when it is needed or inevevitable. All these people that complain about car counts don't realize that a 17, 18 OR 19 car field for a IRL race is normal over the course of big car history.

              And yes, there are grid limits and guys will go home, they have to. Can't run 28 cars at Richmond or Iowa, sorry.

              Larry

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              • #8
                Back in the early 1960's the Milwaukee Mile had a 20-lap consolation race, in fact Rodger Ward won one, he needed it to get into the main event. Top-two would transfer.

                In 1960, the Milwaukee Mile had the most entries (47) for the Rex Mays 100-miler after Indy. Sachs and Dick Rathmann used the 'consi' to transfer. Jim Rathman who won the "500" the week before went home. No provisionals in those days. Other DNFers that day included, Troy Ruttman, Jimmy Bryan and Duane Carter. Probably one of the best fields ever for an event other than Indy.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SZautke
                  Back in the early 1960's the Milwaukee Mile had a 20-lap consolation race, in fact Rodger Ward won one, he needed it to get into the main event. Top-two would transfer.

                  In 1960, the Milwaukee Mile had the most entries (47) for the Rex Mays 100-miler after Indy. Sachs and Dick Rathmann used the 'consi' to transfer. Jim Rathman who won the "500" the week before went home. No provisionals in those days. Other DNFers that day included, Troy Ruttman, Jimmy Bryan and Duane Carter. Probably one of the best fields ever for an event other than Indy.
                  Excellent info!

                  Larry

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                  • #10
                    Looking back, at the Indy car races in the '50's and maybe early '60's, they only started 18 cars on the mile tracks. Funny how times have changed and we get pizzed if there aren't 24+ cars, today.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Littleman
                      Looking back, at the Indy car races in the '50's and maybe early '60's, they only started 18 cars on the mile tracks. Funny how times have changed and we get pizzed if there aren't 24+ cars, today.

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                      • #12
                        I believe it was based on the formula that gave us 33 cars at Indy, based on track size and length of race. Later it was tweaked so USAC could start 22 cars for 100-150 mile races and 26 cars for 200 milers.
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                        • #13
                          Looking back, at the Indy car races in the '50's and maybe early '60's, they only started 18 cars on the mile tracks. Funny how times have changed and we get pizzed if there aren't 24+ cars, today.
                          I don't think that's true in all cases.
                          1960
                          Trenton 22 starters
                          Milwaukee 22 starters
                          1955
                          Trenton 22 starters
                          (and yes there was a consi race, with top 2 finishers going to main)
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                          • #14
                            I think the way that TEAM is structured, even if a team misses the show in a race, they'll still get their money if they're a full-time team.

                            I wonder how they will decide the size of the field too. I don't know if anyone will get sent home except at maybe Detroit which has a very short pit lane and Kansas, which may have over 33 cars show up (which is a justifiable spot to limit fields)

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                            • #15
                              Mid-Ohio has a very short pit lane, 28 is the max.

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