The Indy Racing League has announced it will meet with Helio Castroneves next week to discuss his post-race outburst after he was robbed of victory in the Honda Indy Edmonton.
That was when he was charged with blocking his teammate, Will Power, even though there was no block. The explanation since is that he was driving on a part of the track where he wasn’t supposed to drive (have you ever heard of anything so stupid in your life?) and that is why he was penalized.
Castroneves, you’ll recall, went just about berserk afterward and, at one point, grabbed a series official by the lapels.
So the IRL feels it has to do something about Castroneves’s behaviour when, in fact, it should do something about its officiating. If the call hadn’t been made at all, never mind being so draconian and unfair, it’s a good bet that Helio wouldn’t have gone crazy.
Several other IRL officials weighed in on the controversy this week, as have several drivers, and they all agreed the call was correct.
How predictable and tiresome. Doesn’t anybody have the guts anymore to bite the hand that feeds them? Do you think A.J. Foyt or Parnelli Jones would have stood for this nonsense? I guarantee you that somebody would have been punched in the mouth.
Now, I invite you to listen to the Indy Racing League’s post-race broadcast hosted by announcer Mike King. (You can listen to the podcast here.) He talks to Castroneves, Team Penske president Tim Cindric and Indy 500 driver Davey Hamilton, who also does colour commentary, with King, on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network.
What will come through loud and clear is the Pandora’s box that was opened by chief steward Brian Barnhart’s decision to penalize Castroneves. I made this point in a blog earlier this week and you will hear it again and again on that podcast: the IRL had better penalize every driver when blocking is suspected or there is going to be trouble. Go ahead and make the calls, but make them every time. Inconsistency can no longer be tolerated.
It’s going to be a scream at Mid-Ohio next weekend, watching the drivers trying to stay out of trouble.
“Can I drive on that little bit of pavement over there?”
“Oops, better not . . .”
The three words you’d better get used to hearing in IndyCar racing from now on are “drive-through penalty.”
As if they didn't have enough trouble . . .
– The World of Outlaws sprint cars are at Ohsweken Speedway near
– If I’m Jack Roush, I’m never piloting my own plane again. To survive one crash (with the help of a fellow who rescued him from a watery grave after the plane he was piloting went into deep water in 2002) is miraculous enough. To walk away a second time, as happened this week, is really pushing it. He should hire somebody to fly him around.
– Felipe Massa is strutting about, telling everybody who will listen that he’s never going to let Fernando Alonso past him again. It makes for good copy but who’s he kidding? Like Rubens Barrichello before him, it’s in his contract that he has to do what the Scuderia Ferrari tells him to do. If he doesn’t, they will fine him the amount of money they’ve already paid him this season and then they will fire him. And what is that going to prove? Next time, they (and he) just won’t make it so obvious.
– Talking about Formula One, my pre-Grand Prix podcast with Canadian F1 expert Gerald Donaldson will be on wheels.ca by noon Friday. We’re going to talk about the
– Someone commented on my blog earlier this week that they couldn’t find the previous podcast. Here is where to find it: it is always in the carousel – five or six stories that rotate – at the top left corner of wheels.ca (underneath the big blue box). Watch the carousel and the podcast will come around. You can also find it at thestar.com/sports/autoracing (yes, there is an auto racing page at thestar.com that directs you to the stories on wheels.ca).