the position for the final lap with the
assumption that Race Control would
penalize me that one position and I’d
finish eighth instead of seventh.
I had passed under yellow to avoid
creating a safety concern and fully
intended to give the position back. But I
also couldn’t do that safely, considering
the closeness of the traffic just after a
restart, so I decided to just stay where I
was and trust the officials to determine
the proper finishing order. That’s why I
was shocked when I heard we’d been
docked 15 positions and scored 22nd. I did
not expect that at all, and that’s part of
the reason I got so angry. A lot of you
heard those comments, and I sincerely
hope you weren’t offended, but I was
just expressing my emotions at the time.
I believe what we need as racers is
clarity regarding what the rules are and
what the penalties will be if those rules
aren’t followed: It’s that simple. In my
case, I should have known a) how much
time I had to give the position back to
avoid a penalty and, b) what that penalty
would be if I didn’t give the position back
in that time frame.
Some penalties, obviously,
are judgment calls. Issues
like blocking are naturally
discretionary. It’s in the
eye of the race officials,
and I understand that.
But even then, again,
we should know what
the officials expect and
what the penalties will be.
In our current situation,
I don’t feel the drivers
always know what to expect
and I think the rulings aren’t
Next year, the IZOD IndyCar Series
will begin a new chapter in its history –
brand-new cars and new engines, a new
look and a new sound. I care deeply
about this series and we have so much
potential and promise. I think next
season would also be the perfect time to
move into a new chapter of consistency
and clarity in officiating, too.
• Follow Helio and Team Penske on Twitter,
at @H3lio and @Penskeracing.
a WeeKeND To rememBer At Sonoma in August, Will Power, Helio and Ryan
Briscoe scored Team Penske’s first 1-2-3 since Nazareth in 1994, when Paul Tracy,
Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi demolished the opposition. The frosting on
Roger’s cake this time around was that same weekend, Penske Racing’s Brad
Keselowski scored his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win of the year at Bristol.