Photo: Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment

Team Penske Sidelines Key Personnel in Wake of Push to Pass Scandal

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

The fallout continues.

In the aftermath of the penalties handed down by the NTT IndyCar Series to Team Penske for its Push to Pass infractions in the season opener at St. Petersburg, the team has made the call to levy penalties of its own to a number of key personnel heading into the Month of May.

On Tuesday morning, the team announced that it had completed an internal investigation into the matter and after finding “significant failures in our processes and internal communications” the decision had come down to sideline some of its own employees as a result.

Suspensions for the next two races, including for the Sonsio Grand Prix and the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500, were handed out to Luke Mason, race engineer for defending Indy 500 champion Josef Newgarden, along with senior data engineer Robbie Atkinson, who works on Will Power’s No. 12 car.

Along with the two engineers, Ron Ruzewski, the team’s managing director and strategist for Power, and Tim Cindric, team president and strategist for Newgarden, were also suspended for those two races as well.

“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,” team owner Roger Penske said in a statement. “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.”

Cindric added a statement of his own, taking accountability for his part and the part of senior leadership in the P2P scandal.

“For Ron and I as leaders of this team, it’s not about what we did, it’s about what we didn’t do,” Cindric said. “It is our responsibility to provide the Team and all our drivers with the right processes to ensure something like this can’t happen.

“For that, I apologize to Roger, our Team and everyone that supports us. Our number one job is to protect and enhance the reputation of our brand and that of those that support us. In that regard, as the overall leader, I failed, and I must raise my hand and be accountable with the others. This is a team, and in my position, it’s the right thing to do.”

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.