INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — IndyCar fined Team Penske $35,000 and docked it 15 points Tuesday after a post-race inspection turned up a problem on Helio Castroneves' race-winning car at Texas.
Series officials said the No. 3 car didn't comply with a rule requiring the "exit of the underwing height" to be 7.6 inches. Team Penske said it found after Saturday night's race that the height was instead 7.575 inches because "we neglected to tighten the braces that position the rear of the diffuser following pre-race inspection."
"Obviously we are very disappointed that the No. 3 car did not pass post-race inspection after Saturday's race at Texas," Penske Racing President Tom Cindric said. "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."
Castroneves led the final 132 laps at Texas Motor Speedway and finished 4.7 seconds ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay to give Penske its first win of the IndyCar season. It was the 28th career victory for Castroneves, who took over sole possession of the points lead.
That won't change because of the penalties issued Tuesday.
IndyCar came into Texas under scrutiny following a series of penalties tied to driver behavior, including a $30,000 fine against Sebastian Saavedra for directing an obscene gesture toward Marco Andretti in Detroit. Will Power was placed on probation for the rest of the season for throwing his gloves at Sebastien Bourdais following an accident during Sunday's race. Bourdais was placed on probation for comments made toward officials on pit road after the same accident.
Simona De Silvestro, Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier were each penalized a 10-grid spot penalty before the Texas race for making unapproved engine changes since last weekend's doubleheader in Detroit.