The results of the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 have been made official as of 7:40 p.m. (EST) with Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves declared the winner. The controversial end to the race came two laps from the scheduled distance as a...
The results of the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 have been made official as of 7:40 p.m. (EST) with Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves declared the winner.
The controversial end to the race came two laps from the scheduled distance as a yellow flag for a turn two accident cut short a late race duel between Castroneves and Paul Tracy.
Castroneves claims that he slowed in turn three after learning of the turn two crash involving Laurent Redon and Buddy Lazier.
Tracy made an outside move in turn three, clearly passing Castroneves after the accident had occurred. At issue is whether the track lights were flashing, indicating a caution period had ensued mandating the drivers hold their positions.
It is not uncommon for a driver to learn of a caution period prior to the indication from the track lights as team spotters listen to race control radio communications. The same radio channel used to communicate the yellow condition to the official responsible for switching on the track lights.
While the track lights are supposed to light simultaneously with the caution lights on the driver's dash, a delay between the two is a possibility.
The Indy Racing League's Vice President of Operations, Brian Barnhart said, "Clearly based on all of the information that we have available to us, the 3 car was in front of the 26 at the conclusion of the race."
Barnhart was clear to stress "there's a lot more information that we provide to our teams, not just the track lights on the race track. We have mandated rules that the spotters and race teams themselves have to listen to race control and they are hearing the call made for the yellow. We have an onboard yellow light system, the dash system on the cars themselves that would be turning yellow at the same time as the track lights."
Team Green has filed a protest regarding the official results. Indy Racing League officials have scheduled a hearing at noon on Monday, May 27, at the Indy Racing League offices in Indianapolis.