"We've had to make some adjustments as to the time when we make it clear that everyone else has no chance to win this thing," said a TCG team official who declined to be named. "Usually we're 4 mph faster than everyone by lap 10 of opening day (today). With the compressed schedule we'll probably have to move that up to lap 4."
"Unusually other teams and fans have a solid 30 minutes of hope that they may actually have some remote chance to win this thing, but with the compressed schedule, I'd say that's going to shrink to 15 minutes before we all have 5 mph on the field and everyone realizes it will be the same four guys battling for the win again."
IndyCar officials earlier this year announced that preparations for the Indy 500 on May 30 would be reduced from essentially the full month of may to May 15 through 21, with qualifying for all cars on May 22 and 23.
The Big Two have also said they're happy the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a single groove through the corners, making it virtually impossible to pass while turning left.
"We feel the race has become a nice combination of oval and road skills, sort of a roval (road oval)" said the insider. "People don't want to see cars two-wide through the turns at Indy. That's just too exciting and dangerous and may distract them from enjoying the beautiful day and gorgeous landscaping. We're also really thinking of Robin Miller's heart here. He almost vapor locked when we had that ridiculously dramatic three- and four-wide at Chicagoland last year. Besides, what better way to win the greatest spectacle in racing than on pit strategy and a well executed short fill?"
In related news, IndyCar is allegedly considering a fourth trophy to go along with those given for best on ovals, best on road/street courses and overall champion.
"We're considering a trophy for best non-big two team driver," said a league spokesperson. "It's tentatively being called the B Feature Trophy and would go to the driver from neither TCG nor Penske who has the most points in the season."
The league briefly considered excluding the third-strongest team, Andretti Autosport, from eligibility for the B Feature Trophy, but decided their season-plus drought on ovals that got them stripped of Big Three status last year made them eligible for the consolation prize.
"Besides, we took a look at it and last year the B Feature Trophy would have been won by Danica Patrick," said the league insider. "And any time you can give Danica some hardware, that's a good thing."
Right now Andretti's Ryan Hunter-Reay is leading the B Feature Trophy chase, with Dreyer & Reinbold's Justin Wilson 22 points behind.
"We're also considering giving everyone else participation medals at the end of the year to thank them for giving it their best effort only to be mercilessly crushed race after race," the league insider said.