Matsuura penalized for improper comments

IndyCar Series officials have fined Panther Racing's Kosuke Matsuura an undisclosed amount for using inappropriate language during interviews at the April 1 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Matsuura was penalized for violating Rule 8-3-A of the IndyCar Series rulebook, improper conduct. He issued an apology through a statement released by Panther Racing.

"I really wanted to apologize for what I said during my ESPN and IMS Radio Network interviews," he said. "I was upset about the crash, but I didn't need to use the language I did. Since the next race is at my home country, I wanted to return to Japan with good result and enjoy the Indy Japan race, so I am very disappointed with what happened in the first two races. I want to apologize to my sponsors, ESPN, IMS Radio Network, the IndyCar Series an all the race fans who were watching on Sunday. Everybody on my Panther team was frustrated, but I should have expressed my disappointment in a better way. I'm sorry."

Matsuura visited the Indy Racing League offices to meet with Brian Barnhart when he returned from St. Petersburg to express his regret for the comment immediately.

"Kosuke was frustrated, like all of us were, about what happened on the first lap of the race," Panther co-owner John Barnes said. "He knows he should use better word choice in the future, and a pair of interviews don't reflect Kosuke's character. He has the support of the entire Panther family."

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