Speedway—In front of the museum, inside the home of the series' signature race, a trio of drivers answered questions from a dozen media members on Monday.
Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and Davey Hamilton's body language suggested a unity among the drivers following the Izod IndyCar Series most devastating tragedy in its history.
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All three drivers said they saw positive progress in their nearly three-hour meeting with IndyCar series CEO Randy Bernard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Monday morning.
It was called by Bernard, after the death of driver Dan Wheldon at the series finale in Las Vegas October 16. Safety concerns were raised following the event.
"I think everyone's on the same page of going forward and trying to improve things as much as possible," said Franchitti after the meeting.
Monday's meeting was closed to the media but drivers Scott Dixon, Alex Lloyd, James Hinchcliffe, Graham Rahal, Ed Carpenter, Pippa Mann, Vitor Meira and Tomas Schekter were seen.
"We all got to talk a lot, listen a lot and just look at going forward how do we improve things in all areas," said Franchitti of the meeting. "I think it was a very positive and productive meeting."
While the three drivers did not discuss specific changes that were suggested by the collection of drivers, they did say that each person had their chance to speak their mind and be heard.
Kanaan insists that this effort is not just in response to Wheldon’s death, but rather a part of a long-time effort to promote safety in the series. Since its inception in 1996 as the Indy Racing League, the open wheel series had yet to lose a driver in a race before Wheldon's crash in Las Vegas.
"It's not something that’s being done, just because something happened now," said Kanaan. "We set the standard, we created the soft walls. I mean, we created that. IndyCar did that. So we're always going to set the standard."
Hamilton points to the unifying of the drivers, led in his mind by Franchitti, Kanaan and Justin Wilson that could help the series make positive progress before the 2012 season. In fact its Franchitti and Kanaan that will continue testing the new 2012 IndyCar machine in place of Wheldon, who tested the car on road courses and ovals before his death.
"We're in a great group and we exchange emails and we have ideas. We're doing it in a very positive way, it’s not to throw down on anybody," said Hamilton. "It’s not to disagree. It’s just to say what's the best for us as drivers and what's the best the series. The cars and how do we put the best race on for fans and the people that support us and make sure our sponsors are content."