IndyCar

Michael Andretti isn’t accusing Roger Penske of anything, but … ‘it’s possible’

Michael Andretti isn't accusing Roger Penske of anything, but ... 'it's possible'

Michael Andretti isn’t accusing Roger Penske of anything nefarious, but the Andretti Global boss is certain Team Penske knowingly broke IndyCar Series rules.

“My opinion is they knew exactly what they had,” Andretti said on Kenny Wallace’s podcast this week.

Andretti, for the first time publicly, shared his opinion on Team Penske’s improper use of push-to-pass technology in the season opener at St. Petersburg, Fla. Josef Newgarden (race winner) and Scott McLaughlin (third place) were disqualified, and Will Power was docked 10 points.

“That’s a tough one,” Andretti said when asked about Roger Penske’s culpability in the incident.

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Team Penske used push-to-pass on St. Pete starts and restarts, which isn’t allowed. Andretti explains how the issue was discovered a month later as the series prepared to race at Long Beach.

“It’s funny how the whole thing was exposed. It’s all by mistake,” Andretti said.

“IndyCar forgot to turn on the push-to-pass in the morning warm up (at Long Beach), and the only three cars to have push-to-pass were the Penske cars,” he said. “They were going to use it at Long Beach, which would have been a big advantage.”

Andretti applauded Jay Frye, IndyCar’s president, for laying down the law against the series owner’s team.

“That was a gutsy move to expose it and give Roger (Penske) that penalty,” he said.

Andretti was disappointed by the various explanations Team Penske officials offered.

“I just wish they would’ve owned it more. ‘All right, we got busted. Let’s go on,'” he said. “Instead, the drivers had their story. (Team president Tim) Cindric had his story. … None of their stories matched up. They should have just been transparent about it.”

Andretti said heads would have rolled on his team had they been caught breaking rules.

“If that would’ve happened to our team, (race director) Rob Edwards would’ve been let go immediately,” he said. “If it’s something I didn’t know about.”

But did Penske know about it?

“Didn’t know exactly? Yeah (I could see that),” Andretti said. “Did he give them permission to do stuff? I don’t know. It’s possible.”

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Andretti boss says Penske team knowingly broke IndyCar rules

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