IndyCar: Three post-GP of Indy penalties announced

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Easier to just link the release from INDYCAR, below:

INDYCAR GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS POST-EVENT INFRACTIONS

INDYCAR announced today post-event infractions from the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, which was held May 10 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

·  INDYCAR officials have fined engine manufacturer Chevrolet $20,000 and penalized it 10 engine manufacturer’s points for violations of the engine regulations. Chevrolet was found to have violated Rule 11.2 (Torque Control) and 12.1 (Traction Control) of the Verizon IndyCar Series Engine Regulations.

·  INDYCAR officials have fined Schmidt Peterson Motorsports $1,000 for a technical violation on its No. 77 Verizon IndyCar Series entry driven by Simon Pagenaud. The entrant was found to have violated Rule 14.6.7.7 (Underwing splitter) of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook.

·  INDYCAR officials have fined Penske Racing $1,000 for a technical violation on its No. 3 Verizon IndyCar Series entry driven by Helio Castroneves. The entrant was found to have violated Rule 14.15.7 (Differential assembly) of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook.

The member may contest the imposition of the penalty pursuant to the procedures and timelines detailed in the review and appeal procedures of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook.

As for what the rules mean, from the rulebook, here’s the actual language (h/t to James Black of 16th and Georgetown who had these posted up to his site, as well).

 11.2 Torque Control – The only means by which the driver may control the engine torque is via a single chassis-mounted foot pedal or on-board fuel mixture switch.  Designs which allow specific points along the pedal travel range to be identified by the driver or to assist in holding a position are not permitted.  The minimum and maximum pedal travel positions must correspond to the engine throttle minimum (normal idle) and maximum open positions. 

It is permissible to take control of the engine torque away from the driver during any of these events only:
a) When a stuck throttle is detected
b) During a gearshift
c) For pit lane speed limit control
d) For engine rev limit control
e) To control over boosting

12.1 Traction control – Traction or launch control is not permitted. 

INDYCAR also announced that the race winning car of Simon Pagenaud was fined $1,000 for violating Rule 14.6.7.7 (Underwing splitter) and Team Penske’s No. 3 entry was fined $1,000 for the violation of Rule 14.15.7 (Differential assembly).
Those read as follows:

14.6.7.7. All of the remaining underwing parts (splitters, sidewall extensions etc.) must remain as supplied with the exception of adding extra fasteners or the permitted trim to the underwing sidewall.

14.15.7. All parts of the differential assembly must be used as supplied by Xtrac.

(Updated) NHRA shocker: Englishtown ceases drag racing operations immediately, cancels NHRA Summernationals

Photo courtesy NHRA
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If put in baseball terms, Wednesday morning’s news from the NHRA is comparable to Yankee Stadium closing down for good.

One of the most popular and longest-running race tracks on the NHRA national event circuit — Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey — announced in a statement that “it will no longer host any drag racing events at its facility, effective immediately. This includes the 49th Annual NHRA Summernationals, scheduled to take place this June.”

This is massive — and terrible news — for NHRA fans, particularly those on the East Coast, as the track more commonly known simply as “Englishtown” has long been a destination point for fans in the New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland area for decades. That not only includes NHRA national events, but also local bracket racing at the track.

Few details on the decision to stop all drag racing events are known. However, the track has long struggled being landlocked and unable to expand its runoff area for cars that have problems stopping under their own power. That is especially problematic for Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars, which are the most powerful cars in the sport and, due to the 10,000 horsepower they produce, often need longer stopping distances.

NHRA Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta was killed in a crash at Old Bridge Raceway on June 21, 2008, when his car was unable to stop in the runoff area and collided with a portable crane past the runoff area.

NHRA spokesperson Jessica Hatcher told NBC Sports in an email Wednesday morning that the sanctioning body will not look to find a replacement venue for Englishtown on the 2018 racing schedule.

As a result, the 2018 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule will shrink from 24 to 23 going forward with Englishtown’s departure.

” ‘Stunned’ is the perfect word to describe how we are all feeling right now,” Hatcher said. “For 2018, we are focusing on the remaining 23 events and do not foresee any additional changes to the schedule.”

UPDATE: Hatcher reached out again to NBC Sports later Wednesday afternoon with an addendum that could be promising for race fans in other markets: “Upon hearing the news about the Englishtown track, we’ve received a significant level of interest from other track operators about hosting a national event in 2018.  We’re not sure if this is possible for 2018, but we’re definitely looking into it, if not for 2018, then perhaps for 2019.”

New NHRA president Glen Cromwell said in a media release, “NHRA drag racing events have been held at the track in Englishtown for almost 50 years. The Summernationals have played an important part of our heritage and we hope that fans in the area will try to make it to another of our events.

“Our focus remains on making the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series a memorable experience for our fans, racers, sponsors, partners and tracks.”

The nearest venues to Englishtown that will host NHRA events this season are Maple Grove Raceway outside Reading, Pennsylvania (105 miles west of Englishtown) and New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire (310 miles northeast).

The Napp family, which owns Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, issued a statement that the facility will remain open and continue business as usual going forward — with the exception of eliminating all drag racing events, both national and local.

“Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the Napp family owned and operated business announced today a reorganization of the company’s business operations,” the statement said. “To achieve this goal, Raceway Park will no longer conduct quarter mile or eighth mile drag racing events effective immediately.

“Raceway Park will retain and use the ‘stadium’ portion of the facility including the VIP hospitality tower and grandstands and continue most of its operations including the spring and fall auto swap meets, numerous car shows, both motocross racing and practice, kart racing, as well as drifting, a full schedule of road course activities, mud runs, monster truck shows, musical concerts, & festival events and more. The long standing Old Bridge Township Airport, owned and operated by Raceway Park will also continue to operate as normal.”

From a driver’s perspective, veteran NHRA racer Shawn Langdon, who is switching from a long career in Top Fuel to Funny Car this season for Kalitta Motorsports, won in Top Fuel at Englishtown in 2013 and laments the decision to drop drag racing there.

“It really caught me by surprise because I had not heard a thing about that,” Langdon said. “It’s unfortunate because that place has such rich history and so many great things have come out of that race in the past. It was a track that meant a lot to the Kalitta family and with Scott. They always wanted to win one for Scott. We’d have loved to have the opportunity to go back to the track and win that race for Scott.”