Race Weekend Central

Josef Newgarden Stripped of Win, Penske Penalized After St. Petersburg Violations

Following the the NTT IndyCar Series race at St. Petersburg on March 10, INDYCAR has announced penalties surrounding Team Penske, with Josef Newgarden being stripped of his season-opening win.

Newgarden and Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin were retroactively disqualified, while fellow teammate Will Power received a 10-point penalty. 

Additionally, all three entries have been fined $25,000 and will forfeit all prize money associated with the Streets of St. Petersburg race.

According to INDYCAR, Penske violated push-to-pass parameters, saying the team manipulated them during the event.

McLaughlin had initially finished third in the race.

Ahead of the warmup session on April 21 for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, INDYCAR discovered the team’s potential rules violation.

See also
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After review of data from St. Petersburg, INDYCAR officials determined Penske manipulated the overtake system so that its three cars had the ability to use the push-to-pass feature on starts and restarts.

“The integrity of the IndyCar Series championship is critical to everything we do,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said in a release. “While the violation went undetected at St. Petersburg, INDYCAR discovered the manipulation during Sunday’s warmup in Long Beach and immediately addressed it ensuring all cars were compliant for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

“Beginning with this week’s race at Barber Motorsports Park, new technical inspection procedures will be in place to deter this violation.”

Power was only docked 10 points rather than being disqualified because officials deemed that he did not gain an advantage on the restarts.

“Unfortunately, the push-to-pass software was not removed as it should have been, following recently completed hybrid testing in the Team Penske Indy cars,” Tim Cindric, Penske president, said in a statement. “This software allowed for push-to-pass to be deployed during restarts at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix race, when it should not have been permitted. The No. 2 car driven by Josef Newgarden and the No. 3 car driven by Scott McLaughlin, both deployed push-to-pass on a restart, which violated INDYCAR rules. Team Penske accepts the penalties applied by INDYCAR.”

Pato O’Ward is now credited with the St. Petersburg win after initially finishing second.

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In my free time I have the privilege of writing for Frontstretch, crushing others' dreams in Catan, serving at our local church, and traveling with my wife.

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Jeremy

From the article: “Unfortunately, the push-to-pass software was not removed as it should have been, following recently completed hybrid testing in the Team Penske Indy cars,” Tim Cindric, Penske president, said in a statement. “This software allowed for push-to-pass to be deployed during restarts at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix race, when it should not have been permitted. The No. 2 car driven by Josef Newgarden and the No. 3 car driven by Scott McLaughlin, both deployed push-to-pass on a restart, which violated INDYCAR rules.”

So they knew the software was active, and purposely used it. I’m saying that with the assumption that drivers typically would not bother to push the button on a restart knowing it would do nothing? And I think Power deserves a DQ penalty too on the basis he tried to gain an unfair advantage just like the rest of his team – just because he didn’t succeed with it doesn’t remove intent.

Jeremy

To update, I read another article that stated Will Power never used the P2P in an unapproved manner. Thus the reason he was not DQ’d. Still penalized because the team had the software out of spec on his car, but not DQ’d because he never tried to use it outside of when it was allowed.

Alex Curtis

Sad to see Cindric lie about the cheating, thinking that racing fans are morons and won’t know the difference. There is tons of data to prove it was not just a software error and hopefully Indy Car does a proper review of at least the past 2 years of races to determine how long they have been doing this. Usually when a team cheats the drivers are not involved however in this case Newgarden was obviously aware and involved by his actions.

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