Team Penske Sidelines Four For Indy

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Team Penske's Tim Cindric

Several key members of Team Penske's NTT INDYCAR SERIES organization will miss this month's races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway following an internal review of the recent Push-to-Pass penalties levied by INDYCAR.

Team president Tim Cindric, managing director Ron Ruzewski and engineers Luke Mason and Robbie Atkinson will not participate in this weekend’s Sonsio Grand Prix or the upcoming Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the team announced.

Cindric is the strategist for defending "500" winner Josef Newgarden while Ruzewski holds the same duties for Will Power, the 2018 winner of the event. The two have combined to win road course races at IMS on six occasions.

The cars of Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin were disqualified from the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding after it was determined that software allowed them to improperly use INDYCAR’s overtake system on starts and restarts. Newgarden won that race with McLaughlin finishing third.

Power’s car also had the software, but he did not use it during the St. Petersburg race. Newgarden and McLaughlin did. The team was fined and Power's car, which finished fourth, was docked 10 points. The penalties were announced April 24.

Mason is Newgarden’s race engineer while Atkinson is Power’s data engineer.

"Following the penalties to the Team Penske INDYCAR team and drivers after Long Beach, Team Penske has completed an internal review," the team's statement read. "After a full and comprehensive analysis of the information, Team Penske has determined that there were significant failures in our processes and internal communications.

“As result, Luke Mason (No. 2 race engineer) and Robbie Atkinson (senior data engineer) will be suspended from Team Penske for the next two INDYCAR races, including the Indianapolis 500. In addition, Ron Ruzewski (Managing Director, Team Penske INDYCAR) will also be suspended for these two races along with Tim Cindric (President of Team Penske), who has accountability for all of Team Penske’s operations.”

Team Penske owner Roger Penske, who also owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, issued a statement.

“I recognize the magnitude of what occurred and the impact it continues to have on the sport to which I’ve dedicated so many decades,” he said. “Everyone at Team Penske along with our fans and business partners should know that I apologize for the errors that were made and I deeply regret them.”

The Sonsio Grand Prix opens for practice and qualifying Friday at IMS. The race is Saturday at 3 p.m. (NBC, Peacock, INDYCAR LIVE and the INDYCAR Radio Network).

The Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, May 26.