May 23, 2024

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Josef Newgarden's IndyCar win was disqualified, and O'Ward was named the winner

Josef Newgarden's IndyCar win was disqualified, and O'Ward was named the winner

Team Penske suffered a humiliating elimination on Wednesday when Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden was stripped of his win in the opening race of IndyCar's season. Manipulating its push and pass system.

Also disqualified was Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin, who finished third in the opener on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Will Power, who finished fourth at St. Pete, was not disqualified but lost 10 points.

Additionally, all three Penske entries were fined $25,000 and all prize money associated with the race was forfeited. The authority was not accused of any violations.

Roger Penske owns the race team, the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, host of the Indy 500.

“Very disappointing,” Penske said in a text message to The Associated Press. “I'm embarrassed.”

The echoes were immediate throughout the arena.

“I have emulated Roger Penske for many years on and off the track, so today’s news is very disappointing for me,” rival team owner Chip Ganassi told the AP. “This is a shame on his team, their organization and the series. Very disappointing as a fellow owner and competitor in the chain.”

The disqualifications gave the win to Pato Award, who finished second. This is McLaren's first victory in IndyCar since 2022.

Although Newgarden was accused of cheating in the March 10 opener, IndyCar said the fouling was not discovered until Sunday morning's warm-up in Long Beach, California – nearly two months later.

“The integrity of the IndyCar Series championship is critical to everything we do,” said IndyCar President Jay Frye. “While the violation was not discovered in St. Petersburg, IndyCar discovered the tampering during Sunday’s warm-up at Long Beach and immediately remedied it to ensure all cars were compliant for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

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“Beginning with this week’s race at Barber Motorsports Park, new technical inspection procedures will be put in place to deter this violation.”

A review of data from the St. Petersburg race showed that Team Penske manipulated the overtaking system so that the three Penske drivers could use the drivetrain to pass on the start and restart. According to IndyCar rules, the use of overtaking is not available until the car reaches the alternate start and finish line.

“The push-to-pass program was not removed as it should have been, following recently completed hybrid testing in Team Penske Indy cars,” Team Penske President Tim Cindric said in a statement.

“This software allowed the push-to-pass feature to be deployed during the restart at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, when it should not have been allowed,” Cindric continued. “The No. 2 car driven by Josef Newgarden and the No. 3 car driven by Scott McLaughlin used a push-and-pass system on the restart, in violation of IndyCar rules. Team Penske accepts the penalties applied by IndyCar.

Newgarden, a two-time IndyCar champion and Indianapolis 500 winner who has a one-year contract with Penske, fell from first in points to 11th with the disqualification. Ganassi driver Scott Dixon, Sunday's winner at Long Beach, is now the points leader heading into Sunday's race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

McLaughlin, in A A lengthy statement was posted Wednesday evening on social mediaHe said he was unaware of the flaw in the software and used “one very short post (1.9 seconds)” to squeeze in a routine part of the circuit.

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“I pressed the button out of habit, but I did not overtake any car and did not gain any time advantage,” he said. “The data that IndyCar has confirms all of this information. While I accept the penalty, I want to be clear that I did not gain any advantage over my competitors.

“It went wrong,” McLaughlin said. “I have the highest level of integrity and it is important to protect my reputation and the reputation of the team.”

It's the second cheating offense this season for Team Penske. Joey Logano was fined $10,000 and suspended for a second-place finish in a NASCAR race at Atlanta earlier this season because he was wearing an illegal glove during his qualifying run.

Logano was supposedly wearing the same illegal glove — which had obvious aerodynamic deflection modifications that made it look like he was wearing part of an amphibian costume — when he won the pole in the Daytona 500 one week earlier.

The black glove on Logano's left hand had a strap made of an unspecified material between each finger. The theory was that Team Penske changed the glove so Logano could put his hand out his window as an aerodynamic barrier during qualifying.

Penske was furious after Logano's infractions.

“I didn't like it at all,” Penske told the AP at the time. “That's not good. Period. I told him. He's the captain of the team. Look, we're under a lot of scrutiny and the last thing we need to do is have any noise like that. It's not good for us. It's not good for him. We'll roll with our punches.” “

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