Will Power was livid with IndyCar race officials at the end of the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, initially angrily calling on IZOD IndyCar Series race director Brian Barnhart to be fired.

The storm erupted after a controversial decision to go green ten laps from the end despite drizzle which had made the fast one-mile oval dangerously slick. The restart triggered a multi-car wreck which initially appeared to have caused disastrous harm to Power's championship campaign.

Power had been in fifth place when a caution came out for moisture on lap 206. The drivers all assumed that this would be the end of the race and that the final laps would be a parade behind the safety car, but instead were stunned to learn that race control were about to put out the green flag again despite no improvement (and possibly some worsening) of the conditions that had triggered the initial yellow.

Team bosses and drivers were quickly on the radio to remonstrate against the decision. "I was begging them, begging him, please do not go green, it's too slippery," said Power after he was caught up in a multi-car wreck caused by Danica Patrick spinning on the run down to the restart line. "So was everyone else. Everyone was saying it ... The track was in no condition to restart."

Team boss Michael Andretti was equally animated as he protested the decision, which threatened the position of his driver Ryan Hunter-Reay who was leading the race at the time. "This is the worst officiating I've ever seen," said Michael. "Sorry, Brian, but this was bad - really bad. We lost the car [Danica] and we lost the lead [Hunter-Reay]. I mean, this was just ... You don't do that - it was wetter than when they threw the yellow earlier, and they threw the green!" He added, "Normally Brian does a great job, but this time he really missed it."

In the immediate aftermath of the crash, Power likewise laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of IndyCar competition director Barnhart and went even further in his scathing attack.

"He makes such bad calls all the time," Power fumed. "This has got to be it. They cannot have this guy running the show. That was a decision to put a lot of drivers in danger ... It was no condition to race in. Shame on him.

"I just can't believe that they make decisions like that,' He added. "I mean, what are those guys up there doing? Al Unser, he's raced, he would never race in these conditions. To me, it was disgraceful."

It's the kind of outburst against a series' integrity that can lead to serious repercussions - fines or even suspensions - and Power knew that he had gone way too far, especially after flipping off the race officials in the tower with two one-fingered salutes that were caught on live network TV.

"First of all, I have to apologize for losing my temper after the accident that ended our race. Regardless of what happened on the race track, my behaviour was inexcusable and I apologize to our sponsors, the fans, the IZOD IndyCar Series officials and the Penske Racing organisation," he said once things had calmed down. "I'm sorry for the way our race ended and how I handled the situation.

"I should not have behaved the way I did and I am sorry. It's definitely no excuse but I was just very frustrated because our car ran so well and our team had worked so hard to put ourselves into a position to get a good finish and I thought it was just ridiculous to restart the race under the dangerous conditions that existed on the race track," he continued. "I am just glad the officials decided to make the decision to revert the finishing order back to what it was before the final restart."

Whether Power faces any disciplinary action for his initial outburst and gestures remains to be seen, but he certainly seems to have the support of just about everyone in pit road, with all the drivers professing astonishment at race control's decision to attempt a restart.

"Wrong move on race control's part," said Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was ultimately handed the race win when the standings were rolled back to the state they were before the disastrous restart attempt. "I'm sure the guys in race control were desperate to go green for the fans at home and here at the circuit, but when its raining you can't race on ovals ... We never should have had a restart."

"To have our race ended by a poor officiating call, trying to restart a race in the green while it's raining, is just really unfortunate," said Ed Carpenter.

"I was one of many people who thought that we shouldn't be going green," agreed Danica Patrick. "I was like 'What are we doing? What are they doing?'"

"The race never should've gone back to green at the end there as the conditions were just too poor," concurred Penske's Ryan Briscoe.

Even the decision to try and undo the damage and roll back the result to the running order before the final aborted restart - which undid the damage to Will Power's title bid - caused fury among those affected, chiefly from Oriol Servia who had passed Hunter-Reay for the lead at that final restart attempt, only to lose the win because of race control's ruling.

"I think it was really wet out there and we shouldn't have gone out, but they threw the green and I was ahead when the yellow went out," said Servia. "Any racing, even here, when you call the leader that is the way it stands. They called me the leader and then they decide to reserve it. I am very upset. Race control called leader car #2 and that is when the yellow came, we were ahead."

Scott Dixon, who finished in third place, was equally frustrated at yet another race where consistency of the race officiating had seemed all over the place.

"They just need to be consistent," said the Ganassi driver. "We aren't racing USAC on the dirt so why did they go back a lap and include no pace car laps and invert the order of how it actually played out? It just makes no sense because they have been going off of time lines all day and because of that we got passed by the #06 twice today.

"I just don't understand race control's thinking. It isn't 'make things up as you go' racing; it is IndyCar racing with rules. I am fine if they make decisions, they just need to be consistent. You can't go back and do several different things and race that way. It needs to be the same thing every time."

To his credit, Brian Barnhart himself made an appearance in US TV broadcaster ABC's broadcast booth to explain the situation and the decisions that had been made - and he admitted straight away that the call to attempt a restart had been simply wrong.

"Obviously the track conditions were not in a position where it was safe for us to run," he admitted. "It's a mistake on race control's part, but again, based on the information we had - we were getting reports from observers, our track safety people saying there wasn't a surface change, said it was a raceable condition," he stressed. "Obviously the attempted restart showed that wasn't the case, so it was a mistake.

"We didn't have a single pit tech call to say we couldn't go because [the drivers] were radioing in saying they couldn't go," replied Barnhart when asked if any of the protests from the drivers and teams had reached race control during the decision making process. "We can only make the decisions based on the information provided to us."

The assertion that Barnhart hadn't received any feedback from teams and drivers before making the decision to go green contradicted Michael Andretti's earlier furious pit road outburst and was greeted with incredulity from media experts.

"It's shocking that they weren't listening to the drivers," said UK Sky Sports analyst and Team Lotus test driver James Rossiter. "How can he sit there and say we didn't have any information from the drivers when that should be the only information they need? No one else can call that, they can't make that decision unless they have the information from the drivers."

"I think you've just seen some serious back-pedalling there from Brian Barnhart," agreed sportscar driver Marino Franchitti, Dario's brother. "I don't believe he's not getting this information back, I think that's absolutely false. He really has to take a good look at himself now, there's been a lot of this happening ... If he doesn't have the trust of the drivers out there, he's lost everything."

"I've heard he originally said he had no communication with the drivers," SPEED reporter-analyst Robin Miller said after the race. "But the drivers were going crazy, telling everybody, the spotters and team managers, that it was raining too hard. And Barnhart hears everything: he's always monitoring everyone.

"In the long list of things Barnhart has done that have been inconsistent and lacked common sense, I think he topped himself on this one," Miller concluded. But he pointed out that the end result of the race might be very good for IndyCar by comparison with NASCAR, which had refused to come out in the rain at all.

"NASCAR doesn't race in the rain because they don't have rain tyres on a road course, yet Indy cars race on slicks on an oval in the rain," he pointed out. "I don't think there's a question of who wins the battle of the balls this weekend - it's IndyCar!

"If people didn't enjoy that race, I give up. It had everything. It had guys upside down, guys crashing the points leader on the restart, guys giving the double bird to the chief steward. It had everything everyone wants."

Full race results available. Full race report available.