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Teams lodge protests over NHMS result

Newman/Haas Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing have lodged formal protests against the result of Sunday's race after a chaotic finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Ryan Hunter-Reay's victory in the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is under threat, after it was confirmed that formal protests have been filed by Newman/Haas Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

The IZOD IndyCar Series organisers also confirmed that the protests - which had to be lodged within 30 minutes of the posting of official results on Sunday afternoon - have had a preliminary review and that the decision has been made to hold a formal hearing in Indianapolis sometime next week.

It's thought to be the first (public) official protest to proceed to a full hearing in Indy racing since 2002.

And in a dramatic move, IndyCar's president of competition Brian Barnhart - who is at the very centre of the storm - has stepped away from officiating over the protest as would normally be his role as senior official, and will instead nominated an independent panel to review the case.

"Given my role in race control, I feel that it is in everyone's best interest to have an independent panel hear the protests," said Barnhart. "I believe a panel will help maintain a fair hearing."

Update: Barnhart named the members of the independent panel as Jerry Gappens, the general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Rollie Helmling, former president and chief executive officer of the United States Auto Club (USAC); and Jeff Stoops, Chairman of the Board for USAC and whose company Stoops Freightliner is a current team sponsor in IndyCar.

The hearing must be held within 14 days of the race according to the series rules, and IndyCar has said that the hearing will take place in Indianapolis in the week commencing August 22.

As well as team representatives from Newman/Haas Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing who lodged the protest, IndyCar have also invited Andretti Autosport to the protest hearing given their interest in the outcome with Hunter-Reay's win in the balance.

The dispute focuses on the controversial final restart of the race, where Ryan Hunter-Reay led the field to the green flag after race control decided to attempt to get the race going again despite rain over the track. Hunter-Reay had a bad restart and lost the lead to Oriol Servia and Scott Dixon, while behind them Danica Patrick spun off turn 4 onto the front straightaway and caused a multiple-car wreck that immediately sent the race back to a full course caution.

Race director Barnhart subsequently admitted that the decision to attempt a restart had been "an error on race control standpoint, and clearly my fault," and made the decision to view the final restart to have been "aborted" despite the few seconds of green flag racing.




Related Pictures

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A unique New England prize for winner Ryan Hunter-Reay after winning the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. August 2011. [Photo Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media]
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Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates after qualifying fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Power will start in the front row with teammate Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power wins the Verizon P1 Award and the pole position for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
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Will Power wins the Verizon P1 Award and the pole position for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
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Ryan Briscoe and Will Power go side-by-side during practice for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway - Friday, June 5 2015. (Photo by Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
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Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, June 5, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Power`s teammate, Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet, was second-fastest and will start in the front row with Power. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, June 5, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Power`s teammate, Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet, was second-fastest and will start in the front row with Power. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power celebrates winning pole position for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway - Friday, June 5 2015. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning pole position for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway - Friday, June 5 2015. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning pole position for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway - Friday, June 5 2015. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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