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Roger Penske Suspends Multiple Team Members for Indy 500 In Wake of Cheating Scandal

On Tuesday, IndyCar and Nascar team owner Roger Penske announced the suspensions of his IndyCar team members. Team President Tim Cindric, managing director Ron Ruzewski, and engineers Luke Mason and Robbie Atkinson were suspended for the next two races, the race on the Indy Road Course and the Indy 500.

The suspensions come after Penske drivers Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin were disqualified from the season-opening race in St. Petersburg after it was found that Newgarden and McLaughlin illegally used IndyCar’s Push-to-Pass system. Penske driver Will Power didn’t illegally use the system, and no one on McLaughlin’s team was penalized. In addition to being team president, Cindric is the strategist for Newgarden, while Ruzewski is the strategist for Power. Mason is the race engineer for Newgarden, and Atkinson is the data engineer for Power.

“Following the penalties to the Team Penske INDYCAR team and drivers after Long Beach, Team Penske has completed an internal review," Team Penske’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.”

While the push-to-pass scandal shouldn’t have happened, I think Penske should've done something, and I’m glad he did. However, I believe that he didn’t do enough. Regardless, Cindric can fulfill his duties for Penske’s IMSA, WEC, and NASCAR programs during his IndyCar suspension, according to IndyStar. This shouldn’t hurt Penske’s IndyCar performance at all. They will still be the favorites to win the Indy 500, which, if they can win, will be Penske’s 20th win in the biggest event in Motorsports, a would-be record.

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