Both drivers sounded off on Josef Newgarden when he held up the race leaders during the GP of Indy.
Lapped cars are the hot topic after the GP of Indy and when (or if) they should yield to the lead lap competitors.
It was like I didn't exist. That's pretty frustrating
In the notes from the drivers meeting held before the Angie’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Verizon IndyCar officials informed the drivers that the blue “move over” flag will only be issued to cars that are a lap or more down to the entire field.
Juan Pablo Montoya and Graham Rahal, who finished second and third, weren't overjoyed following the race and a lap car was main cause of their annoyance.
Rahal and Montoya were behind Josef Newgarden for nearly 20 laps during the race and could not get past him, despite Newgarden running a lap down.
Both were upset with the newly victorious driver from Tennessee.
Rahal and Montoya sound-off
“Look, the rules are if you’re a lap down, you get out of the way,” Rahal said (which isn't entirely correct). "Even if there was no rules, if you're more than one lap down, you shouldn't be getting in the way of the leaders."
“The guy (Newgarden) won last week. He should know better. If they did it to him last week (at Barber), he lost the race because of that, he would have been crying and moaning,” Montoya added.
"You get 10, 12 car lengths back, you can feel the air," explained Rahal. "I was five car lengths back for five or six laps in a row on his tail. You know, it was like I didn't exist. That's pretty frustrating."
Power defends lap traffic
Race-winner Will Power gave his take on the situation as well. At what point, Newgarden actually attempted to overtake him in an effort to gain his lap back.
“These cars can fight to stay on the lead lap now. It’s a rule we talked about in driver meetings earlier in the year. It can be really frustrating at times when you have a fast car and you just can’t get by a guy who is about a second off the pace. In a driver meeting they said you can fight for position,” Power said.
And fight Newgarden did, finishing 20th.
“I’m sure a lot of people weren’t happy with us trying to get our lap back, but we were still racing the best that we could. If a yellow fell, we could’ve gotten that (lap back) so that’s the reason we were pushing so hard for two-thirds of the race,” Newgarden said.
Newgarden could have very well denied Rahal his first win since St. Petersburg in 2008 by holding him up, but should lap cars be allowed to hold their ground in that situation? You be the judge.