Roger Penske’s team is batting the worst 2-for-2 possible this year. Penske Racing was penalized after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in April, and now it faces further penalties after the IZOD IndyCar Series race at the same facility.
INDYCAR announced Tuesday that Helio Castroneves’ race-winning No. 3 AAA Chevy had violated Rule 188.8.131.52 of the 2013 IndyCar rulebook – an underwing violation.
For the infraction, the team was fined $35,000 and docked 15 entrant points, but Castroneves’ driver points were not impacted. Penske can appeal the penalty if he desires.
Justin Wilson’s team was penalized after he had won last year’s Texas race, as well. The team was fined $7,500 and docked five entrant points for not complying with the sidepod top deck aerodynamic element of Rule 184.108.40.206 of last year’s rulebook.
UPDATE, 5:15 p.m. ET: Penske Racing president Tim Cindric has issued the following statement regarding the penalty:
“Obviously we are very disappointed that the No. 3 car did not pass post-race inspection after Saturday’s race at Texas. The rule in question (220.127.116.11) states that the diffuser exit must measure 7.600.” After the race, ours was 7.575″ because we neglected to tighten the braces that position the rear of the diffuser following pre-race inspection.
The way Helio’s car raced did not provide any advantage as a lower diffuser height actually adds drag and reduces downforce. To ensure this is the case, we ran this configuration in the wind tunnel on Monday morning and found that the No. 3 car actually raced with three pounds less downforce and one pound more drag than what it would have had if we tightened the underwing braces properly.”