All day Tuesday the three-person panel, appointed by INDYCAR president of competition and racing operations Brian Barnhart, heard the presentations of Newman Haas Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing in which they tried to support their claim that the finishing order of the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 needs to be adjusted following the race's green, yellow, red finish. The panel consisted of Jerry Gappens (VP and General Manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway), Rollie Helmling (former team owner and president and CEO of USAC) and Jeff Stoops (former car owner and current Chairman of the Board for USAC).
Finishing 2nd behind announced winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, Oriol Servia and Newman Haas representatives attempted to make the case that they passed the Andretti Autosport driver when the green flag was dropped and was still holding the lead when the yellow flag/light was posted.
Wednesday morning the panel announced that they've voted unanimously to uphold the original results, citing that Barnhart had the authority to make the decision.
The panel released the following statement.
"After hearing the excellent presentations by each of the participants in the protest hearing and after reviewing and being sympathetic with each of their positions, the Protest Panel was unanimous in its decision. It is this Protest Panel's conclusion that INDYCAR Senior Official Brian Barnhart had the authority under the governing 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook to render the decision that was made. We also agree that his decision to abort the restart and set the finishing positions that existed before the attempted restart to be an exercise of reasonable discretion. The protests as to Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. d/b/a Target Chip Ganassi Racing car number 9 and Newman/Haas Racing, LLC car number 2 are hereby denied."Andretti Autosport released the following statements.
"We are very pleased with the decision given by the committee on the New Hampshire race finish. Ryan drove a tremendous race in the No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car at Loudon and his crew was outstanding that day. We, at Andretti Autosport, believed all along that Ryan was the winner of the MoveThatBlock.com 225 and this decision verifies his victory. This was our team's third win with three different drivers this year. We're the only team to have three winners in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series. We have two big road racing events coming up in the next two weeks at Sonoma, Calif., and Baltimore, Md., and we can now focus on getting back to victory lane at those races. Thanks again for the support of our sponsors and fans." - Michael Andretti
"I have always felt that we won the race in New Hampshire. The conditions were not ideal that day. And a proper decision needed to be made. I know that the entire Andretti Autosport team and especially the Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda crew is pleased with the outcome of the hearing. It is a very gratifying feeling to hear from all of our sponsors and fans who have supported us all year long and through the last week or so after the race. It is a relief to now concentrate on the next race at Sonoma this weekend. We have scored more points in the last four races than any other driver, and I would love to continue that pattern at Infineon Raceway. Thanks again to everyone who stood behind us." - Ryan Hunter-Reay
Newman Haas released the following statements:
"The IndyCar Series granted us a hearing and has been very cooperative in providing us with requested information enabling us to adequately present our case. We feel that we gave the panel proof that Oriol was the winner of the event when the checkered flag ended the race. Naturally we are very disappointed in the panel's ruling that five laps of the race be struck from the results but we appreciated the opportunity to state our position." - Newman Haas owner, Carl Haas
“I am very proud of Newman/Haas Racing and how they proved that the restart procedure was correct and that we were leading when the yellow came out. The panel resolution doesn't deny that. Their resolution states that Brian Barnhart has the power by the rulebook to make certain decisions at his discretion, and that is what happened.” - Oriol Servia
No word if Newman Haas will appeal the decision.