Will Power delivered a scathing verdict on the IndyCar officials and their decision to restart the race in wet conditions eight laps from the end.
Power, running fifth at the time, was caught out as Danica Patrick spun on his outside, and had little room or grip to maneuver, eventually ending up in the wall with several other cars. Fearing that his chance to gain significant championship points following Dario Franchitti's earlier retirement, Power leaped out of his car and immediately remonstrated with officials, before slamming their decision on live ABC-TV after returning to the Team Penske motor home.
"I was begging them, begging them, please do not go green," Power said. "So was everyone else – the track was in no condition to restart. To me it was disgraceful. It was a decision which put a lot of guys in danger."
Power leveled much of his ire at IndyCar's president of competition Brian Barnhart, who has already drawn criticism for his performance this year.
"I just can't believe the decision – what are they doing up there? I mean, they've got Al Unser [Jr.]...he raced. He wouldn't have restarted in these conditions. They cannot have this guy [Brian Barnhart] running the show. He makes such bad calls all the time. Shame on him."
Power conceded that his own behavior – which included flipping the bird at TV giant screens when, unbeknownst to him, he was being shown on ABC's coverage – deserved a fine, but he stood by his harsh assessment of the series' officials.
"I lost my temper, and that was bad of me, but I just couldn't help it. We begged them, begged them, not to do it."
Ironically, even as Power was making his outburst, Barnhart was making an appearance in the announcers' booth on ABC's post-race coverage, confirming that the officials had erred in restarting the race and explaining that the final results would revert to the order prior to the restart, meaning that Power had taken fifth after all.
"The only right thing to do and the fair thing to do is to go to the running order before the restart," Barnhart explained, acknowledging that the restart was "a mistake on Race Control's part."
"Safety of all the drivers out there is our No. 1 priority, and when you make the wrong call it leaves you with a sick feeling," he added. "We didn't receive any objections from our pit techs talking to the teams or the observers around the track or Johnny Rutherford out there in the pace car."
There was no immediate word on potential penalties for Power's behavior, although Barnhart indicated that the understandable emotion of the heat of the moment would be taken into consideration.