Ken de la Bastide: Captain lays down the law in IndyCar

May 7—The Captain has spoken, and it's clear Roger Penske will not tolerate a breaking of the rules.

Penske announced Tuesday several key members of Team Penske will not participate in the upcoming Sonsio Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 during the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Last week IndyCar, owned by Penske, penalized three Team Penske cars for not adhering to the series' "push to pass" regulations.

Josef Newgarden had his win at St. Petersburg, Florida, taken away, and teammate Scott McLaughlin lost a podium finish.

"Following the penalties to the Team Penske IndyCar team and drivers after Long Beach, Team Penske has completed an internal review," the team'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, (No. 2 race engineer) Luke Mason and (senior data engineer) Robbie Atkinson will be suspended from Team Penske for the next two IndyCar races, including the Indianapolis 500. In addition, (managing director) Ron Ruzewski will also be suspended for these two races along with (president) Tim Cindric, who has accountability for all of Team Penske's operations."

It should not come as a surprise Penske took the necessary action to assure the integrity of IndyCar for the remainder of the year and in the future.


Veteran driver Ryan Newman has entered the 76th running of the Little 500 at Anderson Speedway.

Newman will be assisted during the race by Little 500 champion Eric Gordon and has purchased the sprint car that was previously raced by Brian Gerster.

The car has always proven to be competitive, and Newman has to be considered a contender for a victory.

He last raced in the Little 500 in 2022, starting 11th and finishing eighth while completing 492 laps. But he was unable to finish the full distance because of a racing incident.

Newman joins the 43 teams entered for the Little 500, which include several USAC standouts.

Kody Swanson, who has won the two Silver Crown races this year, will seek another Little 500 title.

CJ Leary is looking to make his fifth start with a career-best finish of third in 2022.

Justin Grant is returning for a second attempt at winning the Little 500 after finishing 29th in 2009, and Logan Seavey is returning following his fifth-place run in 2023.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.