EARLIER THIS year IndyCar's manufacturing partners, Chevrolet and Honda, unveiled revisions to the aerodynamics of its race cars. The idea was to liven up the action on the track, and the new package seems poised to do just that. Pole speeds at three of the season's first five races, a mix of street and road courses, were up an average of almost two miles an hour over last year. Early practice speeds for Sunday's Indianapolis 500 neared 230 mph. What's more, the gains were achieved without much tweaking to the underbody.
"It changes everything," says Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves of the aero boost. "Now your speed into the corner is faster. The car has a different reaction. You've got to actually adapt your style." Case in point: During a practice last week, the three-time 500 winner lost control going into Turn 1, slammed into a wall and somersaulted down the track. (He is fine.)
This was while piloting a second configuration of the new aero package made just for ovals such as Indy's 2½-miler. Whereas the previous body dialed up the downforce to achieve improved handling, this speedway edition dials down drag in pursuit of raw speed. These significant changes couldn't be more subtle, as you'll see below.
This area, configured to be a bit lighter and slimmer, was the toughest to design as it houses many of the internal workings that manufacturers are forbidden from rearranging.
On the road-course car, the spoiler is reinforced to keep the rear wheels firmly planted. For higher speeds and all left turns, it is both simpler and smaller.
A much smoother wedge replaces the slats and risers that bulged from the road-course car.
The protuberances are gone from here too. To better control airflow, Chevy sectioned off the bumper pods from its body, while Honda bisected its large intake scoop.
REAR BUMPER GUARDS
Not only are the downforce assists gone from here as well, but the guards were rounded off—which figures to clean up airflow in traffic.
On Monday a judge rejected former MLB outfielder Milton Bradley's appeal of his 2013 conviction on multiple counts of domestic violence and abuse and ordered Bradley to begin serving the 32-month jail sentence he received. Here's where Bradley's sentence sits among a sampling of ballplayers turned criminals.
• Ugueth Urbina
CHARGE attempted murder
SENTENCE 14 years
SERVED 7½ years
• Orlando Cepeda
CHARGE drug possession
SENTENCE 5 years
SERVED 10 months
• Lenny Dykstra
CHARGE bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets, money laundering, auto theft
SENTENCE 3 years
SERVED 15 months
• Dwight Gooden
CHARGE drug use (while on probation for fleeing police)
SENTENCE 1 year
SERVED 7 months
• Pete Rose
CHARGE tax evasion
SENTENCE 5 months
SERVED 5 months
COURTESY OF HONDA PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT (CAR)
HANS GUTKNECHT/LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS (BRADLEY)