INDYCAR announces post-Indy 500 penalties; Coyne, Herta pit penalties among them

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INDYCAR has handed out a bevy of post-race penalties from the Indianapolis 500, most notably to the No. 19 and No. 98 teams after pit incidents.

Here’s the full breakdown:

INDYCAR announced the following post-event infractions from the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, which was held May 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval:

• INDYCAR officials have fined the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing entry $10,000 ($5,000 suspended) and the entrant was placed on a six-race probation for violating Rules 7.10.1.10 (unsafe release) and 7.10.1.8 (contact with personnel) of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook;

• INDYCAR officials have fined Gabby Chaves, driver of the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport entry, $10,000 ($5,000 suspended) and placed him on a six-race probation for violating Rule 7.10.1.8 (contact with personnel);

• INDYCAR officials have fined the No. 2 Team Penske entry $500 for violating Rule 7.10.1.5 (contact with pit equipment, running over an air hose);

• INDYCAR officials have fined the No. 4 KV Racing Technology entry $500 for violating Rule 7.10.1.6 (contact with a competitor’s pit equipment, running over the air hose of the No. 17 entry);

• INDYCAR officials have fined a crew member of the No. 28 Andretti Autosport entry $500 for violating Rule 1.2.7.2(c) (personal safety equipment, deadman not wearing gloves).

In addition, INDYCAR announced manufacturers championship points adjustments following the Indianapolis 500:

• Honda received a bonus of 40 engine manufacturer points for attaining the life cycle minimum on four of its engines. According to Rule 10.6.4.2 of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook, any engine that reaches a lifespan of 2,500 miles will receive 10 bonus points for its manufacturer. Honda engines for the No. 14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises, No. 27 Andretti Autosport, No. 28 Andretti Autosport and No. 41 A.J. Foyt Enterprises entries all reached at least 2,500 miles. Honda had also received a bonus of 20 engine manufacturer points following the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 for attaining the life cycle minimum on two of its engines, the Nos. 5 and 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entries.

• Honda received a deduction of 80 points for engines that did not reach their life cycle at the Indianapolis 500. According to Rule 10.6.4.3, 20 points will be deducted for an engine that fails to reach its 2,500-mile life cycle. Engines in the No. 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing, No. 41 A.J. Foyt Enterprises and No. 43 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entries did not reach their life cycle minimum before being changed out. Honda had also received a deduction of 40 points following the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 for two of its engines not reaching the life cycle minimum before being changed out, the Nos. 18 and 19 Dale Coyne Racing entries.

Following the adjustments, Chevrolet has 588 manufacturer points and Honda has 553.

Members may contest the imposition of penalties pursuant to the procedures and timelines detailed in the review and appeal procedures of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook.

New Chip Ganassi driver Marcus Armstrong will team with boyhood idol Scott Dixon

Marcus Armstrong Scott Dixon
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Marcus Armstrong was a Scott Dixon fan his entire life, and when he was 8, the aspiring young racer asked his fellow New Zealander to autograph a helmet visor that he hung on his bedroom wall.

Next year, Armstrong will be Dixon’s teammate.

Armstrong was named Friday as the fourth IndyCar driver in the Chip Ganassi Racing lineup and will pilot the No. 11 next season on road and street courses.

A driver for the five oval races on the 17-race schedule will be named later.

The No. 11 is essentially the No. 48 that seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson drove the last two seasons, with Chip Ganassi making the change to run four cars numbered in sequential order. Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson drives the No. 8, six-time champion Dixon drives the No. 9, and 2020 IndyCar champion Alex Palou drives the No. 10.

So just who is the second Kiwi in the Ganassi lineup?

A 22-year-old who spent the past three seasons in Formula One feeder series F2, a Ferrari development driver in 2021, and former roommate of Callum Illot and former teammate of Christian Lundgaard – both of whom just completed their rookie IndyCar seasons.

“I’ve always been attracted to the IndyCar championship because it’s one of those championships that’s been really well televised in New Zealand since I was young, mainly because of Scott and his success,” Armstrong told The Associated Press. “As time progressed, as I got closer to F1 and single-seaters, the attraction to IndyCar grew just because of how competitive the championship is – I like to challenge myself and the level of competition in IndyCar is remarkably high.”

Armstrong, from Christchurch, New Zealand, was set to travel from his current home in London to Indianapolis this weekend to meet his new team. He won’t need an introduction to Dixon, the 42-year-old considered the best IndyCar driver of his generation and Armstrong’s unequivocal childhood hero.

Last season, Dixon earned his 53rd career victory to pass Mario Andretti for second on the all-time list. Dixon has driven for Ganassi in all but 23 of his 345 career starts.

“For a long time I’ve been a Scott Dixon fan. I don’t want to make him cringe with our age difference,” Armstrong told the AP.

Despite the two-decade age difference, Armstrong never considered someday racing with Dixon a fantasy.

He convinced his father after winning five national karting championships to allow him to leave New Zealand for Italy at age 14, where he moved by himself to pursue a racing career. Armstrong said as soon as he’d received parental permission, he’d never look back.

Armstrong was in Formula 4 two years after his move to Italy and won that title in his first season. He won four races and four poles in F3 in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, then collected four wins and eight podiums in three seasons of F2.

“Maybe it’s a strength, or maybe it’s a weakness, but I always thought I was capable of doing great in the sport,” Armstrong told the AP. “I think you probably have to succeed in the sport, you need to believe in yourself. I always pictured myself being in IndyCar.

“As Scott’s teammate? I can’t specifically say I saw that. It’s an extraordinary chain of events.”

Armstrong becomes just the latest driver to leave Europe, where F1 is the pinnacle but has only 20 seats each year. Alexander Rossi began the trend in 2016 when the American left F1 and won the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie. He’s been followed by Ericsson, last season’s Indy 500 winner, Romain Grosjean, Illot, Lundgaard, and on Thursday three-time W Series champion and Williams F1 reserve driver Jamie Chadwick was announced as driver for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar’s second-tier development series.

Armstrong said he could have remained in F2 for a fourth season, but he’d been watching IndyCar for so long, and after conversations with Illot and Lundgaard, he decided to make the move to what he believes is the most balanced racing series in the world. He tested for Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring in October.

He doesn’t know if European racing is done for good, just that he wants to be in IndyCar right now.

“I don’t want to think too far into the future, I’m just grateful for this opportunity that is standing right in front of me,” Armstrong said. “I want to perform as well as I can in the near future and just consolidate myself in the fantastic chance that is IndyCar and just do my best.

“I’m not looking at F1 as a landing spot – I am looking at IndyCar, and that’s exactly why I am here.”