Indy 500 Practice Time Latest Recession Casualty

I’m neither an economist, nor a safety expert. But I can think of at least one reason why it might not be the smartest idea for Indy Racing League to deal with the recession by cutting back on practice time for the Indianapolis 500. No matter how much money it’ll save, it’s probably good that the drivers get some time getting used to driving at 225 mph before throwing 33 of them on the track at the same time.

Indy 500 Crash

Two practice days will be cut from the Indy 500 preparations, along with all the other races in the IndyCar Series, as an attempt to save money. “It’s clearly a response to the economic times we’re facing,” league spokesman John Griffin said. He did not say how much it’ll cost to settle the lawsuit from injured drivers who didn’t get enough practice time.

Team officials said it is too early to predict how much the savings will be, but reducing the frequency of accidents is significant. Even minimal contact with a wall at the Speedway can cost a team $100,000 to repair the damage.

Instead of cutting back on the, you know, motorsports, may I suggest the Indianapolis Motor Speedway do something about the balloon races they’ll be holding to celebrate the track’s centennial?

Or, an alternate proposition, how about doing away with the season’s other 16 races, since the Indy 500 is the only time America cares about open wheel racing.