After several comments from drivers and team owners that were seen by IndyCar’s Mark Miles as “damaging to the sport,” the IndyCar Czar has now addressed the issue.
According to new rule 9.3.8 – Detrimental Competitor Conduct:
Competitors must be respectful, professional, fair and courteous to others. At all times, Competitors must not, attempt to, or engage in conduct or statements that in the judgement of INDYCAR
• Threatens or denigrates any Official, fellow Competitor or the INDYCAR brand
• Calls into question the integrity or legitimacy of the Rules or their application, construction or interpretation
• Denigrates the IndyCar Series racing schedule or Event(s)
• Threatens or denigrates any INDYCAR business relationship, including those with sponsors or broadcasters
• Otherwise threatens the integrity, reputation or public confidence of the sport, INDYCAR, or IndyCar Series.
The rule in place states that there are to be no negative comments over rules, the sanctioning body, fellow competitors, or the schedule. Several other series have other rules in place that are similar to the one Miles and the series has just made, however, this is unprecedented in American open-wheel racing.
The rule comes in the wake of a controversial MAVTV 500 at Fontana in which fans saw a return of pack racing and after an intense IndyCar race in Iowa where heated comments were made between Ed Carpenter and Graham Rahal toward rookie Sage Karam.
With several new penalizing drivers and teams this season – lifting a visor during a pit stop as an example – it is odd that other rules such as leaving with pit equipment are now subject to post race infractions rather than an in race drive thru penalty (see Graham Rahal’s win at Fontana).
One thing is certain, IndyCar is changing and only time will tell if it is for the better.