Monday, May 20, 2024

Newgarden, McLaughlin disqualified from March St. Petersburg race

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The NTT IndyCar Series announced on Wednesday morning that PPG-sponsored driver Josef Newgarden is no longer the winner of the March 10th Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding. His Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin was also disqualified from the race.

DEX Imaging sponsored driver McLaughlin was the No. 3 finisher of the race. Now, after the investigation, Arrow-sponsored driver Pato O’Ward will be credited with the win.

NTT IndyCar Series driver Pato O’Ward making a turn during the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Pato O’Ward making a turn during the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by Pato O’Ward/Facebook)

Verizon-sponsored Will Power, who is also their teammates, was given a 10-point penalty by the officials.

NTT IndyCar Series collected data that showed that Newgarden and McLaughlin violated Push to Pass rules. They were given a competitive advantage with the Push to Pass on restarts.

The sanctioning body said that Power was not given a competitive advantage.

The three drivers were fined $25,000. Plus, they had to forfeit the money they won from the St. Petersburg race.

“The integrity of the INDYCAR SERIES championship is critical to everything we do,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. “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.”

NTT IndyCar Series said Team Penske violated the following rules:

Rule 14.19.15. An indicator to enable Push to Pass will be sent via CAN communication from the timing and scoring beacon on board the Car to the team data logger. This signal must be passed on to the ECU unmodified and uninterrupted during all Road and Street Course Events.

Rule 14.19.16. Race Starts and any Race Restart that occurs before the lap prior to the white flag or prior to three minutes remaining in a timed Race Event will have the Push to Pass system disabled and will be enabled for a given Car once that Car reaches the alternate Start/Finish line.

NTT IndyCar Series did not find out about the competitive advantage until a warm up session during last weekend’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach at the Long Beach Street Circuit in Long Beach, California.

PNC Bank-sponsored driver Scott Dixon won the race in Long Beach.

NTT IndyCar Series found that Team Penske manipulated the overtake system. This allowed them a competitive advantage on starts and restarts.

It was found that Newgarden and McLaughlin’s cars had a competitive advantage. However, Power’s did not.

Following the sanctions, Power is now fifth in the standings with 59 points. Newgarden fell to 11th with 34 points.

McLaughlin is last of the bunch as he is currently in 29th place. He has just five points.

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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