Was Justice Served With Helio Castroneves' Penalty?

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2010

EDMONTON, AB - JULY 23:  Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Team Penske Dallara Honda prepares for practice during the Indy Car Series Honda Indy Edmonton on July 23, 2010 at Edmonton City Centre Airport in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard obviously supported Brian Barnhart's ruling against Helio Castroneves, but realized he needs the driver in the series.

Castroneves was fined $60,000 and placed on probation for the rest of the season for his inappropriate actions against race officials at Edmonton, July 25.

Barnhart reminded drivers of the blocking rule prior to the race and decided to enforce the ruling on a 200 foot wide course. The ruling was designed for more narrow street courses.

Castroneves was leading the race when he was black-flagged on the final restart for blocking Penske teammate, Will Power.

Castroneves disregarded the black flag and was penalized 20 seconds following the race which dropped him to a 10th place finish.

The irate driver allowed his Latin temper to overtake his better judgment when he verbally and physically attacked race officials.

Castroneves apologized to his team owner, teammates and race officials for his actions.

After the penalty was assessed, Castroneves was quoted as saying, "Although my disappointment with being black-flagged while leading the race with just a few laps to go will probably always remain with me, I understand and accept the league's decision to penalize me for my reaction."

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The foolishness of this IndyCar ruling will continue to be debated.

It flies in the face of what is considered normal passing and trying to gain position in other racing venues.

IndyCar officials considered suspension of Castroneves, but realized he was one of the most popular drivers in the series.

Hey, that proves they aren't totally oblivious to what is best for the IndyCar series.

Said Bernard: "Fans have paid their hard earned money to watch the best drivers in the world and many bought their tickets for upcoming events with the expectation of watching Helio."

Castroneves had every right to be furious with the black flag for blocking.

Drivers of course, especially those who benefited from the ruling, support IndyCar officials. After all they were warned in the driver's meeting before the race.

IndyCar wants to rejuvenate the series. If fans watch an exciting finish to a race like that at Edmonton, only to find out the winner didn't win, perhaps the series officials are shooting themselves in the foot.

The blocking rule should not have been discussed or enforced at Edmonton.

The $60,000 fine for Castroneves is petty cash and the probation is vague.

Just what petty infraction of some other ruling could cause the popular driver to get parked?

IndyCar might want to rethink some of their rules and when they should be executed if they expect fans to support the series.

Barnhart is the boss, but many think he may not be the best man for the series.

Helio Castroneves is currently sixth in the IndyCar point standings.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.