Power fined $30,000 for gesture at race
Will Power's obscene gesture after the New Hampshire race will cost him $30,000.
The Australian driver was fined and put on probation for the rest of the IndyCar season Thursday because of his actions following the aborted restart on a wet track Aug. 14. He will also have the option of working off the fine by making a series of appearances for the series.
The big crash came with about 10 laps to go and forced race officials to red-flag the event. Brian Barnhart, the series president of competition, later decided the race should not have restarted and opted to use the restart order as the final result -- a decision upheld Wednesday after two other teams protested.
''I understand that the series has to make a reasonable effort to ensure that this type of behavior will not be repeated by anyone else in the future,'' Power said in a statement released by his team. ''I have expressed my feelings about the incident that prompted my poor behavior, and I've apologized and continue to regret the inappropriate gesture I made as well.''
The crash could have cost Power at least two or three spots in the final results -- and perhaps more -- had the race continued. Instead, Power, who is second in points to defending points champ Dario Franchitti, was awarded fifth place and climbed within 47 points of the leader.
After the crash, Power jumped out of his No. 12 car, hopped over a wall and then flashed two middle fingers at race officials, a scene caught by a television camera. Power later apologized.
''While the circumstances around the checkered flag were highly unusual, they do not justify this type of behavior, especially in a family-friendly environment,'' Barnhart said in a statement. ''Emotions always are on display in our sport and we know these actions are not indicative of Will's normal behavior.''
Power wasn't the only driver upset with the day's action.
Ryan-Hunter Reay, who was awarded the win, and his owner Michael Andretti had complained to league officials about the track conditions before the restart occurred. When the race restarted and Danica Patrick skidded sideways behind the leaders, which took out Power, Oriol Servia and Scott Dixon both passed Hunter-Reay in the front straightaway.
Servia's team, Newman/Haas Racing, and Dixon's team, Target Chip Ganassi, both filed protests that were heard Tuesday in Indianapolis. Franchitti is Dixon's teammate. Both teams claimed they finished ahead of Hunter-Reay.
But it was Power's reaction that drew attention, and Penske Racing president Tim Cindric said the situation has been discussed within the team.
''Team Penske does not condone or approve of the actions taken by Will Power in the aftermath of the restart that was subsequently aborted in the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway,'' Cindric said. ''Clearly, Will, like many of the drivers in the field, was very frustrated with the decision that was made by race control to restart the race under dangerous conditions and he let his emotions get the best of him.''
All of the involved drivers are expected to compete Sunday in Sonoma, Calif.