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Teams lodge protests over NHMS result

That meant the result was taken from the running order before the aborted restart, when Hunter-Reay was still leading, and he was duly listed as the race winner when the red and chequered flags came out.

"I think priority one for us is to admit our mistake and do the right thing with regard to the finishing order," said Barnhart. "That wasn't [the drivers'] fault. That was mine. So the right thing to do was to go back and not jeopardise them or go back and affect their standings in the race result for the championship, go back to where the last stop was run before my mistake was made."

But at the post-race press conference, both Servia and Dixon were angry about the sudden reinterpretation of rules that appeared to them to be without precedence or basis in the rulebook.

"In IndyCar, I've never seen before [that] after they throw a green and then it goes yellow after, but they go back to restart before," said Servia. "They did it in NASCAR [but] I've never seen it in IndyCar. That's to me the most confusing."

"When have we ever gone back?" asked Dixon. "We're not racing dirt cars, we're not racing USAC. We don't go back to a previous restart. We don't count pace laps. When has that ever happened in IndyCar racing? Never, since I've been in my 10 years.

"The rules are not confusing, it's the enforcement of them sometimes," emphasised Servia.

And Barnhart himself seemed to recognise that he had stepped away from strict interpretation of the rulebook when he said "You're in a position where from a rule book standpoint you count the yellow laps unless otherwise stated, but to me the logic behind it was that it's the right thing."

Ryan Hunter-Reay's stance was understandably different from those of Servia and Dixon: "The rule in IndyCar, just so you know on starts and restarts, the leader has to reach the start/finish line first," he said.

"That's a rule. There's another rule, too. The guy behind the leader can't come out of line behind the leader until he gets to the start/finish line. So both those things happened. There's a lot of rules stuff going on.

"It was definitely a roller coaster there," he admitted of the heightened emotions of those final minutes. "I was pretty angry that we were going green when it was still rain. You could see it on the visor, it was pooling down. I was warming up the tire, almost losing the car just warming up the tires. I'm glad we didn't make it to Turn 1."

Hunter-Reay also explained what had happened when the green flag briefly came out, and why he had lost the lead: "It rained on an oval. We were five laps from the end ... I couldn't even put the power down in second or third gear, it was that wet."




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