Tagliani felt he got burned

DAVID CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

While other drivers at the Toronto Indy were burning gas, Alex Tagliani felt like he got burned.

Tagliani was leading the race, staying out in a fast car as others pitted. But when a yellow flag flew following an on-track crash, Tagliani lost the advantage excellent fuel mileage had given him. He went from being ahead of race-winner Dario Franchitti to a ninth-place finish.

Closing the pits under yellow makes sense to Tagliani. But he thinks the rule needs updating, so the pit-or-not-pit gamble has a higher reward for the back-of-the-packers.

"I understand the rule on an oval. When there's a wreck, they want people to slow down," said Tagliani, himself involved in a horrific crash at a superspeedway in Germany, just days after 9-11. "On a road course, I think you need to use a little more judgment.

"When you're leading the race, there's no reason you should come into the pits ... When you're in the back of the pack, you have nothing to lose, so you're rolling the dice ... to bank your pitstop in case there is more yellows and capitalize on that.

"When you're leading the race, you can't throw your race up in the air, hoping.

"I say keep the rule in place, but if the leaders are going to be penalized by closing the pits, then keep the pit open a little longer to let everybody pit. Why penalize the leader of the race and get people from the back to the front automatically because the pits are closed? I'm okay (with it), but I think we were the victim of having a great car, great mileage (in Toronto). We were unlucky. If you throw the dice and it helps you, you love the rule. If you're in the front and you lose the race like we did, you hate the rule."


Photos