- Associated Press - Sunday, June 2, 2013

DETROIT (AP) - IndyCar has come up with a strategy through 2021 to make its cars faster and safer in hopes of winning back old fans and attracting new ones.

Now it’s up to team owners to sign off on the plans.

“We won’t ram it down their throat,” Derrick Walker, IndyCar president of competition, said Sunday at a news conference before the second of two Detroit Grand Prix races.

Walker outlined a year-by-year plan to introduce gradual changes and said they will be put in place only when a majority of the owners and all of the manufacturers agree with the proposals.

And if that doesn’t happen?

“We’d say, `Forget it, we’ll take it off the table,’” Walker said.

The sanctioning body spoke with teams and manufacturers Saturday about new aerodynamic configurations known as aerokits it hopes to use during the 2015 season. It is part of a comprehensive plan to improve performance and safety into the next decade.

“In that meeting, it was constructive,” Walker said. “I think we got general support.”

At least one team owner, Bobby Rahal, is embracing what IndyCar wants to do. Another, Dale Coyne, said IndyCar should spend its time and money on marketing.

“I do think that having some technical freedom is important and that will draw interest into the series,” Rahal said. “I also think there’s no question that the speeds in the old days drew the crowds. That’s legitimate.”

Coyne, whose driver, Mike Conway, won the Detroit Grand Prix on Saturday, said the series is producing a good product technically, but needs a boost in popularity.

Instead of having manufactures using their money on development and teams on testing, Coyne suggested spending it on attracting more fans.

“I think all that money and resources would be better spent on our marketing side right now,” he said. “We need to sit down in a room with our television partners and work out something where we could get all of our races on network television.”

Walker said excitement about the sport hasn’t been lost overnight and it won’t get a major boost right away even if owners and manufacturers go along with the latest plan devised by the governing body.

“It’s not the magic bullet that’s going to fix IndyCar,” he said.

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