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Having the drivers put some trust in the tower is a welcome change for IndyCar, which suffered through some rather ugly incidents in 2011 involving drivers and Barfield’s predecessor, Brian Barnhart, leading to his ouster. Last year, Power was furious when Barnhart decided to resume racing at New Hampshire despite protests from multiple drivers that it was raining too hard.

The slick conditions caused a crash on the restart that collected Power, who infamously flashed his two middle fingers toward Barnhart. Castroneves later called out Barnhart on Twitter.

But the drivers seem to agree that things have gone more smoothly in 2012. There were plenty of concerns about how things would go at Texas’s high-banked oval in the wake of Dan Wheldon’s death at a similar track in Las Vegas last season, but the race nearly went off without a hitch.

Beaux has done a good job so far. I think Texas was a definite high point, as far as working with the drivers; Beaux, Phillips and the drivers and teams working together to come up with that package. That was really an open dialogue between all of us to come up with something that really put on a good show and put drivers back in charge of the cars,” Franchitti said.