Allan Brewer, IndyCar Correspondent
Barnhart puts New Hampshire results under investigation after protests were filed
The fallout from Sunday’s aborted restart of the Indy 225 at New Hampshire Speedway began in earnest on Tuesday. On motor racing’s customary “first-day-back” from Loudon, IndyCar Series President of Competition and Operations Brian Barnhart announced an investigation into the official results of the race, which could alter the finish in which Andretti Autosports’ Ryan Hunter-Reay was awarded the win over runner-up Oriol Servia of Newman/Haas Racing and Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon.
I believe a panel will help maintain a fair hearing.
Servia was leading the race, with Dixon and Hunter-Reay in tow, when the event was red-flagged due to moisture on the racetrack and a multi-car crash that left only five cars running. Servia was later re-classified to second and Dixon was ruled third when the running order was reordered to one lap prior to its restart on Lap 217.
Hunter-Reay’s teammate Danica Patrick ignited a chain-reaction of collision and cursing when she spun mid-pack on the rain-slickened surface as the green flag waved over the field. Series championship contender Will Power of Team Penske was among the drivers involved in the fracas. He delivered the now-infamous double-bird and certain verbal vitriol towards Barnhart, who made the decision to resume the race.
Protests filed by Newman/Haas Racing and Ganassi Racing regarding the results of the race were received by IndyCar within 30 minutes of the posting of official results. A hearing on the final standing will commence on or about August 22nd in Indianapolis, headquarters of the governing body that controls IndyCar racing. All 3 podium finishers will be represented by their team officials at the hearing.
Barnhart also announced he has recused himself from hearing the protest, but did indicate that a group of individuals would adjudicate the proceeding. “Given my role in Race Control, I feel that it is in everyone's best interest to have an independent panel hear the protests,” he said. “I believe a panel will help maintain a fair hearing."
Barnhart cited two passages of the IndyCar Series rulebook (section 12.4 Jurisdiction and 12.6 Hearing of the Protest) as the authority for appointing a panel and initiating the hearing process.