IndyCar Race Winner From Six Weeks Ago Disqualified

st petersburg, fl during the 2024 firestone grand prix of st petersburg on the streets of st petersburg photo by joe skibinski  ims photo
IndyCar Race Winner Six Weeks Ago DisqualifiedJoe Skibinski

Early last month, Josef Newgarden won IndyCar's season opener at St. Petersburg. The world has rolled on for more than six weeks since that race, and IndyCar has run two events since. All those weeks later, the series announced Wednesday that the winner of that race was disqualified and Pato O'Ward has been promoted to race winner.

The ruling is a result of a data review that IndyCar says revealed major violations of the category's push-to-pass feature. Typically, these systems would be disabled for any given restart. The Penske team found a way around this, one that was discovered during a warm-up session at Long Beach more than a month later. A review shows that Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin gained an advantage as a result of the workaround, so both were entirely disqualified from finishes of first and third, respectively. Will Power also apparently had the bypass on his car, but IndyCar determined that he did not gain an advantage, so he was deducted just ten points.

In a statement shared with Racer, team president Tim Cindric says that the software to bypass the push-to-pass rules was inadvertently not removed after a test of the category's upcoming hybrid systems. Given that this in turn probably allowed both Newgarden and McLaughlin to benefit from the feature on restarts, Cindric says that the team accepts the hefty penalties.

Following the penalties, Newgarden has fallen from the lead to 11th in the IndyCar standings. After receiving a smaller penalty, Will Power moves to fifth in the championship. McLaughlin, who was disqualified from his St. Pete finish like Newgarden, is all the way down in a precarious 29th. Scott Dixon, the race winner at Long Beach on Sunday, now leads the series championship.

You Might Also Like