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Castroneves faces fines for grabbing officialUPDATE #4 “We’ve reviewed the videos since we’ve returned from Edmonton but I haven’t had an opportunity to contact him,” Brian Barnhart said. “Hopefully, we’ll be doing so very shortly. We’re extremely disappointed in his behavior post-race but certainly understand his frustrations and emotions. He’s a very passionate person and very competitive driver. I think he represents the majority of our field; it is that competitive and that tight. When things have gone against them, they feel like they’ve been wronged, they’re going to have some expressions.
“That’s still inexcusable to put your hands on an official and abuse the officials the way he did. We’ll have a conversation, take his side into consideration as well as what he did, and act appropriately.”
“You have to keep in mind why the rule is there in the first place, and our rule against blocking is there from a safety aspect – the inherent danger of open-wheel cars making contact – and we’re also trying to improve the entertainment value. When you road race as often as we do, by the nature of these tracks they don’t have a lot of passing zones. If you allow cars to defend and take away the only passing lane, you’re going to have a boring event.”
Barnhart said if competitors in the series approach the sanctioning body to review the blocking rule, “we’re open-minded and will look at the rule.”
“That’s why it’s there, but be prepared if it goes away because you’ll have some safety issues, you’ll crash a lot of cars that cost a lot of money and you’re going to have follow-the-leader parades,” he said. “As the rule is written now, it was a clear violation.”
07/27/10CORRECTION: We originally got this one wrong as we thought we understood the rule different from what it actually was.
07/26/10CORRECTION: Video showing Castroneves grabbing and pushing an IndyCar official. Look for the IRL to throw the rulebook at him. This video also shows what Barnhart said in the drivers meeting about blocking and the video shows that Castroneves did exactly what Barnhart said was not allowed.
07/26/10 Clearly upset with the penalty that cost him a victory in Sunday's Edmonton IndyCar race, Helio Castroneves, who was scored in 10th place, confronted series officials after the race. He later apologized for his actions.
“Obviously, I disagree with the decisions made by the race officials on the last restart in today’s race, but there is no excuse for my actions after the checkered flag,” Castroneves said. “I apologize to my team, our sponsors, the fans and the entire IZOD IndyCar Series community for my behavior. My actions were totally wrong and I acted inappropriately to some people who are my friends and people I respect very much. Obviously, I am a very emotional person and today I let my emotions get the better of me and I’m very sorry for that.”
07/25/10 Helio Castroneves was penalized for blocking teammate Will Power on the 93rd lap Sunday and that opened the door for Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi to win the Honda Indy Edmonton.
Castroneves was given a drive-through penalty for blocking Power as his teammate appeared to have the commanding route through the chicane shortly after a restart. That penalty dropped Castroneves behind the last car on the lead lap and that left him in 10th place.
Dixon, who was second across the finish line, was awarded first place with Power second and Dario Franchitti third. Canadian Paul Tracy, who started 15th, finished a strong sixth.
Castroneves was livid with the decision, screaming at officials and at one point grabbing the shirt of one official with both his hands. He cannot appeal the blocking penalty and an Indy Racing League official said his grabbing of an official will be reviewed for possible further penalties.
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