Indy 500 now the Indy 400
In a move to alleviate its environmentally concerned conscience, the International Racing League announced this morning that this year’s Indianapolis 500 will be shortened to 400 miles. The move follows the decision earlier this year to use 100% fuel grade ethanol in the racecars’ Honda engines, rather than gasoline which currently costs about $3.60 a gallon in central Illinois.
"We thought the move to ethanol was a move in the right direction but we all wanted to do even more for the environment," said IRL Commercial President Terry Angstadt. “That’s when we decided to shorten the race by a hundred miles. Think of all the corn we’ll save the people of Indiana.”
The race will still officially be known as the Indy 500 for marketing purposes, or at least until millions of dollars of new merchandise can be manufactured with the new name. For the time being, according to Angstadt, the Indy 500 will still be the Indy 500, only with fewer laps. Forty fewer laps, to be precise. Instead of racing 200 laps, the 33 open wheel cars will make 160 trips around the oval in the 91st annual competition.
By moving to ethanol and shortening the race, experts predict that the IRL can save the Midwest approximately three hundred thousand dollars, and the world several years of a more beneficial climate. And the future only looks brighter for the sport. There are talks concerning the age old championship tradition, as well.
The tradition started when three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Louis Meyer drank buttermilk in Victory Lane after winning the 1936 race. Until next year.
“Beginning in 2008, the winner of the Indianapolis 500 will drink soy milk,” announced a grinning Angstadt.