Standing starts will be featured at two select venues.
Orlando, Fla. – It was a busy day for the IndyCar boys and gals. The series media day included 19 drivers, IndyCar executive Derrick Walker and an ESPN announcement.
IndyCar president of competition and operations Derrick Walker proved to be a straight-shooter as he described his efforts and plans to upgrade race control operations as part of a multi-year improvement program. New equipment is being phased in this season, and by one year’s time, a full set of electronic devices will be in use.
He also indicated that the plans for the Indianapolis 500 qualifications should be announced within the month. The over-riding objective is to provide a memorable and intriguing program for fans. Although not discussed, rumors have been circulating that pole day may move to Sunday, instead of Saturday.
In addition, the Indianapolis Grand Prix on the road course will feature a standing start as will the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Walker indicated standing starts don’t work well on some tracks, but these two tracks can accommodate them. Long Beach standing-start program nearly came about a year ago, but was tabled until more experience was gained with it.
ESPN announced that Allen Bestwick has been selected as its play-by-play announcer for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 telecast along with four other IndyCar races in 2014 and those to be telecast in 2015. Bestwick has been a key component of ESPN’s NASCAR team, and his contract with the sports network has been extended, to include additional sports.
The Rhode Island native describes himself as a small-town boy living his dream. He said he grew up watching his idol Jim McKay call the Indianapolis 500 and he complete wore out a book entitled “30 Days in May” by Brock Yates. “Sitting in the same seat as McKay is hard to fathom for him,” noted Bestwick, who describes himself as a fan of network coverage of any kind.