IndyCar fines to add up for those who badmouth the product

UPDATE #2 Mark Miles insisted Tuesday that the rule is "not a gag order" and won't limit content for media coverage.

"We recognize that controversy, tension and drama all have a place in motorsport today," Miles said in a statement. "Our drivers are competitors and we have no interest in eliminating the emotion and passion that is an integral part of our sport."

Miles also said a heated exchange after Saturday night's race at Iowa Speedway would not be penalized under the new rule. Ed Carpenter confronted Sage Karam after the race to complain about the way Karam drove in the closing laps.

Karam was unapologetic and Carpenter ultimately walked off, but said afterward that IndyCar should have penalized Karam.

"We feel exchanges of that manner do not cross the line and instead highlight the intensity," Miles said. "We feel it's our responsibility to distinguish between irresponsible statements that damage the sport or its competitors and the intense competitive nature of the series.

"This rule is to ensure we have authority to act when we feel it is required."

07/21/15 The Verizon IndyCar Series plans to penalize drivers and team principals who speak negatively about the sport and it's about time.

In a post-race media teleconference Mark Miles promised changes were coming. And today it did:

Rule 9.3.8, Detrimental Competitor Conduct, states:

Competitors must be respectful, professional, fair and courteous to others. At all times, Competitors must not, attempt to, or engage in conduct or statements that in the judgment of INDYCAR:

a) Threatens or denigrates any Official, fellow Competitor or the INDYCAR brand;

b) Calls into question the integrity or legitimacy of the Rules or their application, construction or interpretation;

c) Denigrates the IndyCar Series racing schedule or Event(s);

d) Threatens or denigrates any INDYCAR business relationship, including those with sponsors or broadcasters;

e) Otherwise threatens the integrity, reputation or public confidence of the sport, INDYCAR, or IndyCar Series.

07/05/15 Question: Dear I don't understand the logic of IndyCar fines. Graham Rahal drags a fueling apparatus onto the track and was fined $10,000. Tristan Vautier hits a crew member at Auto Club Speedway, sends him to the hospital and gets fined $10,000. Will Power shoves a medical worker, and gets a $25,000 fine. What am I missing, because to me the level of fines appear to be arse backwards. Jesse, Denver, CO.

Dear Jesse: The fines were spot on. You never push an official and you never badmouth the IndyCar product in what many said was the greatest race of all time. The damage you do by badmouthing the sport is analogous to cutting off your nose to spite your face. Mark C.

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