It’s been a quiet year for penalties in the Verizon IndyCar Series, but the series was forced to take action after the restarted Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Runner-up finisher James Hinchcliffe and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have been issued a 25-point penalty in both the drivers and owners championships and have been fined $20,000 after Hinchcliffe’s No. 5 ARROW Electronics Honda failed post-race inspection.
Hinchcliffe’s Honda was ruled to be in violation of Rule 18.104.22.168.2 of the Verizon IndyCar Series rule book, indicating that the car had too much domed skid wear following the event’s conclusion.
“In our post-race analysis this week it was determined the skid plate on the No. 5 entry was worn and in violation of our rules,” Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations said in a release. “This was both a performance advantage and a safety concern, as the domed portion of the skid had been ground down to the point it would have been ineffective.”
Hinchcliffe drops one spot in the championship standings from eighth to ninth as a result of the penalty, with his total points dropping from 392 markers to 367. Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz is the one that benefits from the infraction, moving up to eighth with 382 points.
Hinchcliffe’s slim odds in the championship also come to a close as a result of the penalty. The Canadian now trails points leader Simon Pagenaud by 162 markers, six points shy of the maximum 156 points attainable in the final two events.
While Hinchcliffe was absent while recovering from injuries in last season’s Texas race, this is the second-straight year that his No. 5 team has faced penalties following Texas.Ryan Briscoe’s No. 5 Honda failed post-race inspection in 2015, with the sanctioning body citing Rule 14.8.5 (Rear Wing Main Plane Angle). The team was issued a $5,000 fine.
SPM may contest the penalties through INDYCAR’s appeal process should they disagree with the penalties.
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