Marco Andretti

FORT WORTH, Texas – Verizon IndyCar Series teams will have the option of increasing downforce by about 300 pounds over the 2013 maximum aerodynamic specification for the Firestone 600 on June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway.

The more the downforce, the more the car is pinned to the racetrack.

Using tools available to reach the higher downforce on the 1.455-mile, high-banked oval would result in 50 pounds of drag on the chassis (with temperatures and pressures identical to 2013), which would slow the car but likely have less drop-off in tire degradation through fuel stints in the 248-lap (four-stop) race.

INDYCAR worked out the aero package with driver input and in collaboration with Firestone Racing during a mid-April test at the speedway. Firestone will supply the same tire specification and construction was used at Texas and the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval in 2013.

The option would put the field closer to the 2012 specifications, which Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon called “a perfect situation.”

“It's a lot like Fontana. If you have a good car you can race yourself to the front and stay there but you have to keep following it because as it cools off throughout the night the track and the cars change," Charlie Kimball, driver of the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car, said of the race under the lights.

Mikhail Aleshin, Jack Hawksworth, Carlos Huertas and Carlos Munoz will compete on the 24-degree-banked oval for the first time.

"The banking comes up very fast in the turns at Texas, which makes the car loose," Aleshin said. "I've spent the whole week leading up to the race watching previous years' races on the track. I know we'll have more downforce this year than the drivers did last year, so hopefully that will give us a bigger range of options to use for car setup."

INDYCAR levies fine

INDYCAR has fined Team Penske $5,000 for a technical violation on its No. 2 Verizon IndyCar Series entry driven by Juan Pablo Montoya. The entrant was found to have violated Rule (Car weight) of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook following qualifications for Dual 1 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.

INDYCAR also placed Don Oldenburg, a crew member for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, on probation until Aug. 1 2014, for violating Rule 9.3.8 (Social Media Policy violation). The member may contest the imposition of the penalty pursuant to the procedures and timelines detailed in the review and appeal procedures of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook.

Of note

The No. 27 United Fiber & Data Andretti Autosport entry won the Firestone Pit Performance Award for both races on the Belle Isle circuit May 31 and June 1. Firestone awards the team with the shortest amount of accumulated time on pit lane $10,000 ($5,000 on doubleheader weekends). … The No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing entry will sport a red, white and blue chrome livery with primary sponsorship of Strike, a leading single-source North American energy services provider, for the Firestone 600 and Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers doubleheader June 28-29. … Tim White is the new chief mechanic for the No. 11 KVSH Racing car driven by Sebastien Bourdais. ... The No. 17 entry for driver Sebastian Saavedra has been changed to Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. - KV AFS Racing. ... Verizon IndyCar Series transporter drivers competed in the IndyCar Chicane #3 of the Pilot Flying J Truck Challenge in a parking lot adjacent to Texas Motor Speedway (below) on June 6.

INDYCAR Truck Driver Challenge