Auto Racing

IndyCar fines 13 teams during Indianapolis 500 qualifying

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Associated Press
5/20/2012 9:35:35 PM
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway might have set a track record Sunday.

Series officials levied $275,000 in fines to 13 different teams, including pole-sitter Ryan Briscoe. In all, there were 18 infractions.

Track historian Donald Davidson said all of the numbers were believed to be a one-day record even though the series has not always announced infractions or fines. But none of the 13 drivers were assessed grid penalties, meaning their starting spots in next Sunday's race will not be affected.

Series officials declined to comment after issuing the penalties that were handed down about 30 minutes after the second and final day of qualifying ended at the 2.5-mile oval, and most of the teams had already left the track when the announcement was made.

All three cars that qualified for the front row of next Sunday's race were punished.

Briscoe, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay must pay a combined total of $70,000 for six rules infractions.

Eleven teams including Briscoe, Hunter-Reay and points leader Will Power received $15,000 fines for violating technical rules regarding the braking systems on the new Dallara DW12.

Penske Racing president Tim Cindric indicated in a series of tweets Sunday night that the brake rule was changed after last season's finale at Las Vegas. He admitted the brake pads on Power's car were wrong, but said on Twitter it was "out of habit."

He denied Briscoe's brake pads were wrong because Briscoe made his qualifying run after Power, and tweeted "why would we make mistake twice?? No way!!"

The steepest penalty was a $50,000 fine issued to Fan Force United, which is fielding a car for ex-Formula One driver Jean Alesi in next Sunday's Indy 500. The team violated a weight rule, which is intended to create parity among all drivers in the series. Fan Force United was one of the other teams also fined an additional $15,000 for the technical violations, bringing the total to $65,000 for a team that is making its season debut at Indy.

Hunter-Reay's team will pay an additional $20,000 for not following officials' calls and using cooling devices not approved by the league, bringing his total to $35,000. Hinchcliffe was fined $20,000 for the same violations. Marco Andretti drew a $25,000 in fines.

Others facing $15,000 fines were JR Hildebrand, E.J. Viso and Rubens Barrichello of KV Racing Technology, Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi, Justin Wilson of Dale Coyne Racing and Ana Beatriz of Andretti Autosport.

Mike Conway of A.J. Foyt Racing was fined $10,000 for using parts that were not approved by IndyCar, Dallara, IndyCar's chassis manufacturer, or another approved supplier.

Before Sunday, IndyCar officials had issued only one other fine this season -- $5,000 to Tony Kanaan's team for breaking a rule on fuel cell limits.

Cars will not be back on the track until Friday's final practice session of the month.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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(Photo: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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