The reduced on-track time was seen as a way to reduce overall fuel consumption – fewer days that fans would drive their cars to the track – but a mostly insignificant reduction of the actual methanol fuel used by the race cars.
After the tragic 1973 race, several changes were made to the course, as well as the car rules.
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The 58th 500 Mile International Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana on Sunday, May 26, 1974.
Furthermore, the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring were canceled outright.
Track management did not want to shorten the traditional 500-mile race distance, but agreed to voluntarily curtail other track activities.The pit lane was widened, and lengthened to the north by about 400 feet.In addition, the inside wall from turn 4 to the pit entrance, which had caused the fatal 1973 crash that killed Swede Savage and the 1964 crash that killed Dave Mac Donald and Eddie Sachs, was moved in, which allowed cars to have a much easier entrance into the pit lane as asphalt replaced grass in that area.Previously, the track would open for practice on May 1 (or as early as the Saturday before May 1).For 1974, the track opened three weeks before the race. Pole day would be held on the Saturday two weeks before the race, and Bump Day would be held on the Saturday one week before the race.