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Panel Upholds INDYCAR Finishing Order
INDYCAR announced that the top three finishing positions of the Aug. 14 MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway were upheld during a protest hearing Aug. 23 in Indianapolis.
The hearing was conducted by a panel consisting of Jerry Gappens, Rollie Helmling and Jeff Stoops. As Senior Official and pursuant to IZOD IndyCar Series Rule 12.4, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations Brian Barnhart elected to have a panel resolve the protests filed by Newman/Haas Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
The protests were denied based on these grounds, according to a signed statement from the panel:
“After hearing the excellent presentations by each of the participants in the protest hearing and after reviewing and being sympathetic with each of their positions, the Protest Panel was unanimous in its decision. It is this Protest Panel’s conclusion that INDYCAR Senior Official Brian Barnhart had the authority under the governing 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook to render the decision that was made. We also agree that his decision to abort the restart and set the finishing positions that existed before the attempted restart to be an exercise of reasonable discretion. The protests as to Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. d/b/a Target Chip Ganassi Racing car number 9 and Newman/Haas Racing, LLC car number 2 are hereby denied.”
Andretti Autosport was invited to participate in the hearing because of its No. 28 car’s interest in the outcome of the protests.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car for Andretti Autosport, was declared the race winner following a red flag because of rain on Lap 220 of 225 at the 1-mile oval. Oriol Servia, driver of the No. 2 Telemundo Newman/Haas Racing car, was the race runner-up and Scott Dixon in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car finished third.
"We are very pleased with the decision given by the committee on the New Hampshire race finish," Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti said. "We, at Andretti Autosport, believed all along that Ryan was the winner of the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 and this decision verifies his victory. We have two big road racing events coming up in the next two weeks at Sonoma, Calif., and Baltimore, Md., and we can now focus on getting back to victory lane at those races. Thanks again for the support of our sponsors and fans."
Added Hunter-Reay, who led 71 laps to record his first victory of the season: "The conditions were not ideal that day. And a proper decision needed to be made."
Per Rule 13.1 of the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook, the decision may be appealed by 5 p.m. (ET) Aug. 26.