Castroneves hit with eight point penalty, Dixon not satisfied

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Castroneves hit with eight point penalty, Dixon not satisfied
Nick DeGroot
By: Nick DeGroot
May 13, 2015, 4:19 PM

Helio Castroneves has been penalized eight driver points by the Verizon IndyCar Series for 'avoidable contact' at the start of last weekend's Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet
Start crash involving Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet and Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and others
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing talks to the media
Start crash involving Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet and Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and others
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet and James Jakes, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Start crash involving Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet and Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and others
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing talks to the media
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing talks to the media

Helio Castroneves triggered a multi-car accident at the start of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis this past weekend, taking out second-place starter Scott Dixon in the process.

"Following every event, the IndyCar race stewards conduct a review of all racing incidents utilizing all the tools available - including car data, video replays and interviews with the competitors involved," said Derrick Walker, president of competition and operations in a release from the series.

"With the benefit of additional camera angles during our post-race review of Saturday's race, the stewards determined actions of the No. 3 car (Castroneves) were the cause of the first-lap incident. This obviously changed our view of the entire incident."

"At the conclusion of every post-race review, all penalty options are available to the stewards and they determined an avoidable contact penalty was warranted." 

The penalty that fits the crime is a drive-through which could have been done within the first five to ten minutes of the race and we wouldn't be talking about it now

Scott Dixon

Castroneves remains third in the championship after the application of the penalty, dropping from 161 to 153 points, 18 behind Penske teammate and series leader Juan Pablo Montoya.

Dixon reacts

Dixon addressed the media following this announcement, and he believes that the situation should have been handled differently.

"The downside to it is that we're talking about several days later when we should be talking about the biggest race in the world that's coming up," said Dixon, who finished tenth in the race. "In my view, the penalty that fits the crime is a drive-through which could have been done within the first five to ten minutes of the race and we wouldn't be talking about it now."

"Had they added a drive-through penalty to the finishing results, which maybe on average is 25 seconds," he added. "I'm not sure exactly where that would have put the No. 3 car but probably somewhere between 12th and 15th."

Referring to race control, "They're trying to do the best thing they can, but it's something that should have been addressed immediately which is unfortunate."

Dixon told Motorsport.com that he has yet to speak with the Team Penske driver about the incident.

"We all want to have consistent rules and rules that we can race under ... It's a job I'd never want to have."

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