IndyCar keeps stubbing its toe

DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:08 PM ET

The results of the disastrous IZOD IndyCar Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is now in the hands of a review panel.

Both Newman-Haas Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing have appealed the final results of the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 on Sunday.

Remember that race, the one where it was yellow flagged because rain made it too dangerous to continue and then when it started to rain even harder, race control boss Brian Barnhart ordered it re-started?

The one where then race leader Ryan Hunter-Reay spun his tires and was passed by Oriol Servia and Scott Dixon just before all hell broke loose when Danica Patrick did a donut at the start-finish line collecting about half a dozen cars in the process, including championship points contender Will Power.

At that point Barnhart and company decided to cut their losses and declare the race over.

Hurray for Servia, right?

Well, wrong, because Barnhart ruled the final results would reflect the order the cars were in as if the final re-start never happened. So, Hunter-Reay was declared the winner.

Earth to Barnhart: The facts clearly showed the race was re-started.

Of course it should never have been re-started in the first place — something, in hindsight, Barnhart now admits.

But that doesn’t take away from the damage done.

Poor Will Power went apoplectic, directing a double one-fingered salute at Barnhart in the control tower.

Who could blame Power for going over the edge?

He not only wrecked his No. 12 Penske Racing Dallara, but lost an opportunity to get closer to points leader Dario Franchitti, who had crashed earlier in the race on another re-start.

Agreement seems to be universal that Barnhart — who has never raced a competitive lap in his life — has made a mockery of his job as IndyCar chief steward.

This was the guy who robbed Paul Tracy of his win at the 2002 Indianapolis 500.

He should be fired for this latest gaffe.

Listen to Servia’s point of view on the incident.

“On the last re-start, I had a good one,” he said. “Ryan (Hunter-Reay) had a problem; I don’t know if his tires were cold or what, but he had a bad start and even Scott (Dixon) passed him.

“I was ahead when they called the leader at the yellow, clearly. They even said, ‘Car 2 is the leader.’ I have never, ever seen them reverse the order before. It’s devastating.”

And Dixon: “You know, it’s just so confusing. Ryan deserved to win the race but Oriol won. I finished second. Ryan didn’t go (on the re-start). We went past the re-start cone. You snooze, you lose. That’s the same thing that happened to (Mike) Conway at Edmonton. If you don’t go, it’s free game. And he didn’t go.”

JUNIOR LOSES APPEAL

Over in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Dale Earnhardt Jr. thought officials at the Helluva Good Sour Cream Dips at the Glen botched the final results of that race.

Earnhardt figured he should have been given the 14th spot in the final standings instead of 15th.

Junior argued that Clint Bowyer improved his position — from 14th to 11th — after the big crash on the final lap that took out Ron Fellows, David Ragan and David Reutimann.

But NASCAR race officials weren’t buying what Earnhardt was selling and sent him packing from the big white hauler disappointed after a 15-minute meeting.

“I thought (Bowyer) was in the accident and that we should be positioned in front of him,’’ Earnhardt told ESPN’s David Newton. “Points are points, man. They’re real important. But they said he maintained reasonable speed and was positioned to finish in front of me, which I can’t argue with them.’’

FINISH LINES

Pastrana Waltrip Racing is so serious about their effort to win Saturday’s NAPA 200 NASCAR Nationwide race in Montreal that the team transported its race car to an undisclosed California road course last week so Patrick Carpentier could get some seat time prior to Friday’s qualifying ... Denny Hamlin made an impassioned plea for Sprint Cup drivers to start using a seven-point safety harness. He said it saved him from injury in a wicked crash Monday at the Glen ... Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have given Italian Giorgio Pantano a two-race deal to replace injured Justin Wilson. Pantano will race at the Baltimore Grand Prix and Infineon Raceway.

dean.mcnulty@sunmedia.ca


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