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Power blasts race director Barnhart

Will Power was incandescent over the decision of race director Brian Barnhart to restart Sunday's race despite a wet track, a call that led to a multi-car wreck and a red flag.
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.




Related Pictures

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Oriol Servia, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Scott Dixon on the podium after the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. August 2011. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Michael Andretti discusses his anger at the decision to go green in the final laps of the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. August 2011. [Photo Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media]
A red and then a chequered flag several minutes later ended the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. August 2011. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Brian Barnhart, the Race Director for the IZOD IndyCar Series. [Photo: IndyCar Media]
Will Power of Team Penske [Photo credit: IndyCar Media]
Will Power and Carlos Munoz flank winner Mike Conway during their victory lap (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon rolls out of pitlane during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz, Mike Conway and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz, Mike Conway and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and team boss Ed Carpenter pose for pictures after victory in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway poses for pictures with the team from Ed Carpenter Racing after victory in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates pole position in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads Sebastien Bourdais during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads James Hinchcliffe during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway (centre), driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with champagne Sunday, April 13, 2014 after winning the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, raises his arm as he crosses the finish line Sunday, April 13, 2014 to win the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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Sasha

August 15, 2011 8:34 AM

You can act that way when they play with your lives like that. Political correctness can cause deaths. Indycar, in my eyes, has become an absolute freaking joke lately. It is about the show and money. Not about racing and safety.



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