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Castroneves fined $30k for Barnhart comments

Helio Castroneves has been fined $30k by IndyCar and put on probation following critical comments he made on Twitter and in the press about race director Brian Barnhart.
IndyCar have levied a fine of $30,000 on Penske Racing driver Helio Castroneves, following comments on Twitter in which he branded IndyCar president of competition and operations and race director Brian Barnhart a "circus clown".

Castroneves went on to suggest that Barnhart "changes the rule book when is convenient for him, and his own personal interests" and then wrote a column for a Brazil newspaper headlined "IndyCar has a serious problem and it's called Brian Barnhart."

The outburst came after a penalty Castroneves received at the end of the Indy Japan in Motegi, for overtaking under local waved yellow flags.

"IndyCar has fined driver Helio Castroneves $30,000 and placed him on probation for the remainder of the season for actions following the Sept. 18 IZOD IndyCar Series race at Twin Ring Motegi," read the official statement from the series.

"Castroneves was penalized for use of improper, profane or disparaging language in reference to officials for comments he made toward the Race Director via Twitter," it continued. "Because of the public display of his actions, Castroneves will be able to work off the fine by making a series of public appearances on behalf of IndyCar throughout the remainder of the season."

The fine is less than some were expecting, and the option to "work off" the fine also a surprise, but they match the penalties levied against Castroneves' Penske team mate Will Power for his outburst and obscene gestures toward race control following the controversial end of the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

At the time, it was thought that Power's slightly lower penalty and option to "work off" the fine was in recognition that Power's indiscretion had happened in the heat of the moment following a restart attempt that even Barnhart subsequently conceded had been a mistake. Power was also immediately contrite and apologised for his outburst once he had calmed down.

Castoneves on the other hand made his Twitter comments sometime after the end of the race and his newspaper column came out two days later. He has not apologised for or retracted his comments, even after the penalty announcement today, simply responding that he was "aware of the fine issued by IndyCar for my comments after the race in Japan.

"At this point, I think it's best to just put this situation behind me and move forward," a statement released through Penske Racing continued. "We have a big race this weekend and my focus now is getting back on track and behind the wheel of the #3 Team Penske car as we try to defend our win from last season at Kentucky Speedway.




Related Pictures

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Brian Barnhart, president of IndyCar competition and senior race official. [Photo credit: IndyCar Media]
Penske Racing`s Helio Castroneves. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Helio Castroneves goes off-course as the field streams by during the opening lap of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power apexes the Turn 9/9A chicane during the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power leads the field to the green to start the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power exits the Turn 9A chicane complex during qualifications for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fifth fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Montoya is leading the Driver`s Championship in points heading into this final race of the season. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates after qualifying fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Power, the 2014 Champion Driver, has an outside chance to repeat during this final race of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates after qualifying fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Power, the 2014 Champion Driver, has an outside chance to repeat during this final race of the season. (Photo by Sam Cobb/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Power, the 2014 Champion Driver, has an outside chance to repeat during this final race of the season. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power celebrates after winning the pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates after winning the pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates after winning the pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates after winning the pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power being interviewed after winning the pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Penske`s Will Power during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on pit lane prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power watches track activity from his pit stand during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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Gaz - Unregistered

September 28, 2011 1:06 PM

Its just like being at school and you cant bad mouth the teacher ! But this is grown up stuff now. What happened to freedom of speech ? Brian Barnhart you are an a55. Fine me ! Pathetic !



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