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O’Ward declared St. Petersburg winner following Penske disqualifications

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Credit: James Black/Penske Entertainment

In a surprise announcement Wednesday, IndyCar announced that Team Penske has been assessed penalties following an issue with the team’s “Push to Pass” system discovered during morning warmup on Sunday in Long Beach. Winner Josef Newgarden and third-place finisher Scott McLaughlin are both disqualified from the season opener at St. Petersburg in March, with teammate Will Power promoted to second place but penalized 10 driver points. Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward, who originally finished in second place, is now the official winner – his first win since Iowa in 2022.

Officials determined that all three cars used the “Push to Pass” system on race starts and restarts, which is not allowed under Rule 14.19.16 of the IndyCar Series rulebook. Investigation showed that Newgarden’s No. 2 and McLaughlin’s No. 3 gained a competitive advantage with the violation, whereas Power did not, resulting in the 2022 champion keeping his position.

Team Penske president Tim Cindric responded, saying it was a mistake related to recent hybrid testing, and that the team will not appeal:

In the top five, O’Ward and Power are joined by Colton Herta, Alex Palou, and Felix Rosenqvist. Newgarden, who previously led the championship standings, is now in 11th with McLaughlin down in 29th. Scott Dixon, who won in Long Beach, now leads the standings, followed by Herta, Palou, O’Ward, and Power.

IndyCar is back on track in Alabama this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. McLaughlin won at Barber last year.

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Born and raised in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Gabe joined the TCF team in 2023 to cover the IndyCar Series. He currently studies Broadcast and Digital Journalism at Syracuse University. You can follow him on Twitter @gabe_perrin.
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