Are new penalties a way for cash strapped IndyCar to generate revenue? UPDATE INDYCAR announced today that it has withdrawn the $10,000 in-race penalty issued to the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan entry of Graham Rahal and suspended the $10,000 in-race penalty issued to the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan entry of James Jakes. Both penalties were issued during the May 26 Indianapolis 500.
Upon post-race review of video and timing and scoring data, INDYCAR officials determined that the No. 15 car did not violate Rule 188.8.131.52.6 regarding blend out procedures for exiting pit road.
INDYCAR officials determined that the No. 16 car did not comply with Rule 184.108.40.206.6 during a pit stop on Lap 39 of the race. However, officials have suspended the fine provided the member does not engage in similar violations in the future. Should there be future violations of the rule by the member, INDYCAR shall re-instate the fine and additional penalties. 05/29/13 Though believed to be the first in-race monetary penalties in Izod IndyCar Series history, the $10,000 fines to Graham Rahal and James Jakes during Sunday's Indianapolis 500 might not stand. Team owner Bobby Rahal is planning to appeal the fines to his drivers, who were hit in the wallet for improperly blending onto the track while exiting the pits during a caution period that began on Lap 57.
"We obviously don't agree with the fine, particularly since both Pippa Mann and Simona (de Silvestro) did the same thing at the same time and were not fined to my knowledge," Rahal said in a statement Monday. "We plan on appealing."
IndyCar spokeswoman Amy Konrath said the penalty was a new twist for the series, which usually has punished drivers with drive-through penalties and other means of negatively affecting a driver's position that is similar to other racing circuits such as NASCAR. Drive-through penalties without fines were issued during the Indy 500 to de Silvestro (running over a hose on Lap 45) and Jakes (pit safety infraction on Lap 96).
Sunday's fines were tantamount to the NFL issuing a $25,000 fine -- along with the 15-yard personal foul -- for an illegal hit during a game.
"We believe this is the first time that a monetary fine was issued during a race," Konrath told USA TODAY Sports. "Due to the serious nature of the blend-out violation, race control decided to issue a monetary penalty instead of a competition penalty. Additionally, any on-track advantage gained was reversed."
The fines contributed to a forgettable day for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Rahal finished 25th after crashing with seven laps remaining, and Jakes was a lap down in 20th. USA Today