06/22/11 This rumor is upgraded from 'false' to 'fact' today, confirming AR1.com's original rumor on this matter. IndyCar has issued a $5,000 penalty and a loss of 10 points to Sam Schmidt Motorsports Car #77 for breaking Rule 14.3 A (3) – Wheelbase. AR1.com sources say there were actually more infractions, but they are instead going to fill a full time position for the Technical Management of the Firestone Indy Lights, reporting to Will Phillips, VP. Technology who will be responsible for ensuring teams do not cheat their way to victory.
But in our opinion there are 2 problems even with the penalties announced by IndyCar… First, they only penalized the 4th place finishing car – but surely the 1st and 2nd place finishing cars had similar set-ups… So maybe IndyCar still doesn’t get it that they have to come clean when people cheat even if it’s the winner… Second, how does Clauson get to keep his 4th place finish when his car failed tech? And also how does he personally get to keep the points? In every other series in the world, if you car fails post-race tech you’re disqualified. However, it must be an American thing – cheaters prosper – because in NASCAR as well, you can cheat, win and you get to keep your win and you get a slap on the wrist and a fine that is less than the money you got for the victory. We guess the saying "cheaters never prosper" doesn't apply to American Motorsports!
06/22/11 IndyCar’s competition director vowed today to fix a breakdown in the Firestone Indy Lights Series’ technical inspection process that led one team to withdraw from last weekend’s race in Milwaukee.
O2 Racing Technology withdrew its cars, citing IndyCar’s “integrity issue."
Two Sam Schmidt Motorsports cars were initially deemed illegal after qualifying in Milwaukee only to be reinstated a short time later. There was a similar issue with the inspection process in last month’s Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Brian Barnhart, the president of IndyCar’s competition department, said the problems stem from the inspection crew being short-staffed following cost-saving moves.
“We’ve got some challenges there," Barnhart said of the Indy Lights inspection process. “We will be making some changes to our staffing and the responsibilities to make sure we are more buttoned up."
Barnhart did not identify the upcoming changes, but he said it’s possible they’ll be in place for this weekend’s race at Iowa Speedway. IndyStar
06/19/11 Indy Lights cars 7 (Esteban Guerrieri) and 11 (Josef Newgarden) – both are part of the 4-car Sam Schmidt Motorsports livery — failed initial post-qualification inspection, and were initially sent to the rear of the field for Sunday’s race. However, upon further review Indy Lights officials reversed their decision and the Schmidt cars will start 1-2. The other team owners are said to be livid.
06/18/11 Word in the Indy Lights garage is that Sam Schmidt's cars of Esteban Guerrieri and Josef Newgarden failed tech inspection at Indy and nothing was done about it and we are getting word that they have failed again in Milwaukee and this time the other team owners are demanding action be taken. More word on this rumor as we get it.