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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]
Oriol Servia accident during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power on pit road during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Penske team mates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power race side-by-wide during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya crosses the line ahead of Penske team mate Will Power to win the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, Mark Miles and Derrick Walker announce the addition of Boston to the 2016 IndyCar Series itinerary. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud leads Will Power at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Thursday May 14 2015. (Photo by: Mike Harding for IndyCar Media)
Will Power and Simon Pagenaud at practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Thursday May 14 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia showing the retained centerline wicker on the Honda car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Thursday May 14 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (right), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar Saturday, May 9, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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