Penske racing president Tim Cindric, 3 others suspended for Indy 500 after cheating scandal

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Penske president Tim Cindric and three others were suspended for two races by the owner of the racing brand for their roles in a cheating scandal from March.

The suspension will result in them missing the Indy 500 on Memorial Day Weekend.

Team managing director Ron Ruzewski, Newgarden engineer Luke Mason and senior data engineer Robbie Atkinson were all suspended.


Cindric at indy 500

NTT IndyCar series driver Josef Newgarden poses for a photo with car owner Roger Penske and team president Tim Cindric on May 29, 2023, after winning the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Penske driver and defending Indy 500 winner, Josef Newgarden, was stripped of a March win last month for manipulating his push-to-pass system. His teammate, Scott McLaughlin, was also disqualified from his third-place finish in the race.

Penske said Tuesday that a review done by his general counsel found no “malicious intent by anyone” and chalked up the incident as a breakdown in internal processes and miscommunication.

However, the series discovered that the three Penske cars were able to use a software system to get a horsepower boost on starts and restarts, which is against the rules.

Penske group

NTT IndyCar series driver Josef Newgarden talks to crew chief Tim Cindric after winning the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 on August 20, 2022, at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.  (Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The push-to-pass function is controlled by IndyCar and disabled on starts and restarts, when the extra boost of horsepower is illegal. Two weeks ago at Long Beach, a glitch in the software knocked out the software on all cars except the three Penske entries. IndyCar’s investigation later showed that the software had been in place in the season-opening race and Newgarden used it to his advantage an admitted three times.

Newgarden said he thought there had been a rule change and the P2P system was now legal on restarts. McLaughlin said he hit the button out of habit and gained no advantage from the horsepower boost that lasted less than two seconds.

Scott McLaughlin battles Will Power

Apr 28, 2024; Birmingham, Alabama, USA;  Team Penske driver Scott McLaughlin (3) of New Zealand leads Team Penske driver Will Power (12) of Australia into a turn at Barber Motorsports Park. (Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports)


McLaughlin said he used it once at St. Petersburg, and Will Power never illegally used it. Besides stripping Newgarden and McLaughlin of their results from Florida, IndyCar fined all three drivers $25,000 and docked them 10 points each.

Penske owns not only the team, but the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which hosts the legendary race.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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