Chief steward warns drivers to fight fair

The chief steward the Indianapolis 500, the IRL's vice president of operations Brian Barnhart, gave drivers one final reminder on Saturday to take it easy on the start of today's big race

Chief steward warns drivers to fight fair

Barnhart has warned drivers about rough driving and dangerous moves leading up to the race. The last two IRL races - at Phoenix and Japan - were slam-bang affairs. Two of the top four starters - Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan - are wearing casts because of a wreck in Japan.

"I've never once in the 86 years of this race heard a driver say he won because of a move he made on the first turn of the first lap," warned Barnhart. "Use your heads and patience and good position."

The public drivers' meeting is held annually the day before the race, primarily fore the benefit of fans. The private meeting is more direct and stern, and drivers have been made aware that they're being watched. Polesitter Helio Castroneves came in for special attention for his conduct at the start.

"Helio, I want you to use the pace car for exactly what it is - to set the pace," Barnhart said. "It's not a lag-behind car. Maintain a steady pace as you come off of turn four, giving all of the cars an opportunity to get on the front straightaway for the start."

Thirty-two of the 33 drivers attended the public meeting. Robby Gordon, preparing to race both at Indy and in the Winston Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, was the sole absentee.

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