I'll ask this in an intentionally simple way: Why was Scott Dixon penalized?
It comes back to responsibility. There's a level of responsibility that every participant in an IndyCar takes whenever they enter the property. In our review, we certainly looked at the behavior of the right rear guy on the 12 car as being nonchalant. But that by itself wasn't enough to put the majority of the responsibility on him to either consider a penalty on those guys or refrain from penalizing the 9 car.
So in terms of his routine, within his rightful area of his pit box, he was going about his duties in the way that he was 1) entitled to, and 2) had done so before. And so the amount of the 12 car's pit box that 9 decided to use on the way out was really the determining factor.
MP You made your decision in a relatively short time span, while I've had lots of time to review it over and over again, so in that sense, I've definitely had the advantage to look at the contact in greater detail than you were afforded on Sunday. I agree, Power's right rear man did nothing different on the stop where contact was made than he did on previous stops. He held his tire out to his left, carrying it on his left hip. No question there. Looking at Dixon's launch into Power's pit box from the overhead camera, he's essentially following in his wheel tracks from previous launches. There is one distinction on this stop, though, because he has more oversteer and his car swings into Power's pit stall by an extra… [Barfield jumps in].
BB So there's two important points to what you just said. It leads to maybe more conjecture than I ever really consider in any call that I'm trying to make, time being of the essence. But one thing that you said is that there were tire marks there that had indicated what he had done from previous launches, plural. Which could have been earlier in the weekend when the 12 car wasn't even there.
So just by nature of him being on the same tracks didn't make it OK because those could've been laid down, like I said, when 12 wasn't there. So with 12 being there, I think there's a level of responsibility to not just drive past his right-rear; there's still work going on, there's still people around, there needs to be more margin for error. And that's what we sensed and felt when we reviewed it.
Along the same lines, you mentioned the fact that maybe there was more oversteer in the car, which certainly I'm looking at. Yes, I get that it's a race environment and it's fractions of a second that are the difference between winner and loser, I can't downplay that. However, the chance you're taking by going absolutely flat-out and giving the car more oversteer than maybe previous times when maybe there was either a launch from the box that you gave it a little bit of a breathe [on the throttle] to not have so much oversteer and/or makes the car turn sharper to get wider around that… I don't think in the context of everything that happened that would've been so costly. And the reality is that those tenths of a second are never as costly as the possibility of a penalty.