IRL: Post-race melee at The Glen nets penalties

The Indy Racing League did not sit idly by after the post-race melee in pit lane on July 8 at Watkins Glen International. The officials and stewards had it all on tape plus the eye-witness reports from officals and The Glen's staff on pit ...

The Indy Racing League did not sit idly by after the post-race melee in pit lane on July 8 at Watkins Glen International. The officials and stewards had it all on tape plus the eye-witness reports from officals and The Glen's staff on pit lane.

When Sam Hornish, Jr. expressed his dislike of a race altercation to Tony Kanaan, it appeared to be the usual exchange of words between drivers. Unfortunately, it turned into a televised fight involving both teams with others, including non-uniformed credential holders mixing into the fray.

"We are disappointed in the actions of the drivers, the team members and the non-team members involved in the incident," said Brian Barnhart, president, racing and operations division for the Indy Racing League. "Entering the 'field of play' even after the checkered flag and actively becoming engaged in anything outside of celebration is inappropriate and inexcusable.

Not a good way to end the IndyCar Series race won by Scott Dixon who calmly remained in his car at Victory Circle unaware of the fracas taking place and while those on their cool down laps were still entering pit lane.

Team Penske and Andretti Green Racing were the two teams involved and they each have been fined $25,000 for their "unsportsmanlike conduct". The incident was immediately following the checkered flag.

Hornish Jr who finished second should have been on his way to the podium, along with third place finisher Dario Franchitti -- Kannan's teamamte. The Scotsman stayed off to the side along with Marco Andretti who ended fifth behind Kanaan.

Kanaan appeared surprised by the first confrontation but once out of his car walked over to Hornish and it seemed that the two would a heated but typical driver discussion until others got involved.

The amount of the fines netted out to the two racers was not announced, Hornish Jr and Kanaan will not only have to pay out but will also be placed on probation until December 31, 2007 along with their respective teams.

Sam Hornish, Sr. did not stand idly by and was one of the "others" who got involved with pushing and shoving. He too will pay a price -- suspension from pit lane for one race -- and probation. Anthony Fedele was the one who ended up scuffing with Hornish Sr. He has lost his hard card, granted by the League via the AGR team.

"We believe that emotions play a role in our sport but it is unfortunate that others took it as an opportunity to become involved. We have spoken with both drivers and believe them when they said that there was never going to be physical contact between them," added Barnhart.

All involved parties are allowed to appeal the discission of the League.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Brian Barnhart , Sam Hornis
Teams Team Penske