• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Roger Penske Suspends Four Team Members Ahead of Indy 500 for Cheating Scandal

  • He said the situation stemmed from a breakdown in internal processes and miscommunication. 
  • Penske, the owner of IndyCar, is seeking his 20th Indy 500 win.

Team Penske will go into the Indianapolis 500 shorthanded after its namesake suspended four team members for their roles in a cheating scandal. The suspensions—for the team president, managing director, and two engineers—will last two races. 

A review done by Penske’s legal team found “no malicious intent by anyone,” Roger Penske told the Associated Press. He said the situation stemmed from a breakdown in internal processes and miscommunication. 

“We’re the same company we have been for 50 years and I’m going to hold my head high,” Penske said. “This is an unfortunate situation and when you’re the leader, you have to take action. We’ve done that and we’re going to move on. I am not trying to run a popularity contest.”

Team Penske came under the microscope in March after a race in St. Petersburg, Fla. IndyCar disqualified the winner, Josef Newgarden, and fellow teammate Scott McLaughlin, who finished third, for illegal use of the push-to-pace system, which illegally boosts cars and is considered cheating in the sport.  

IndyCar discovered three of Penske’s cars had illegal software installed that allowed drivers to use the push-to-pass function with starts and restarts. IndyCar controls the software, which is disabled during those race phases due to the extra boost of horsepower. 

Team Penske was outed by a software glitch in the warmup of IndyCar’s Long Beach race April 21 that knocked it out of every car but Penske’s three entries. The investigation showed Penske cars had the software installed throughout the season, and Newgarden confessed to using it three times. 

In 2019, Penske bought IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is home to the Indy 500, in a deal worth as much as $300 million

Tim Cindric, who runs Team Penske’s operations and is the strategist for Newgarden, the reigning Indianapolis 500 winner, is the biggest name in the suspension. Rob Ruzewski, Team Penske’s managing director, senior data engineer Robbie Atkinson and Luke Mason, an engineer for Newgarden, were also suspended. 

According to Penske, both Cindric and Ruzewski accepted responsibility for the situation. None of McLaughlin’s crew members were punished, and all three Penske drivers were fined $25,000 and docked 10 points. 

“For Ron and I as leaders of this team, it’s not about what we did, it’s about what we didn’t do. It is our responsibility to provide the team and all our drivers with the right processes to ensure something like this can’t happen,” Cindric said in a statement Tuesday. “For that, I apologize to Roger, our team and everyone that supports us. Our number one job is to protect and enhance the reputation of our brand and that of those that support us.

“In that regard, as the overall leader, I failed, and I must raise my hand and be accountable with the others. This is a team, and in my position, it’s the right thing to do.”

Ruzewski and Atkinson both work on fellow Penske driver Will Power’s car. Power is one of the few Penske drivers not implicated in the push-to-pass scandal. Roger Penske told the AP that Power remains innocent and the suspensions to his crew members are based on their role within the bigger team. 

The suspensions come as Penske’s team is trying to win its 20th Indianapolis 500 in addition to this weekend’s event on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

“I recognize the magnitude of what occurred and the impact it continues to have on the sport to which I’ve dedicated so many decades,” Penske said in the statement. “Everyone at Team Penske along with our fans and business partners should know that I apologize for the errors that were made and I deeply regret them.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

MLB Officially Investigating Gambling Allegations Against Ohtani’s Close Friend and Longtime Teammate

David Fletcher reportedly used the same bookmaker as Ohtani’s former interpreter.

‘This Is Semi-Pro’: Inside One Arena Football League Team’s Collapse

The collapse of the Georgia Force, as told by the players who lived it.

Fanatics Sues Marvin Harrison Jr., Says He Leaked ‘Misleading’ Info to ESPN

Harrison’s side says the two sides don’t have a contract, which Fanatics disputes.

WNBA Investigating Las Vegas Tourism Arm’s $100K Payments to Aces Players

The sponsorship is worth more than several players’ salaries.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Bare Knuckle Fighting Comes Out of the Shadows


Featured Today

Michael Block signs autographs on the 18th hole during day three of practice for the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

‘I Prefer It This Way’: How Life Works for PGA Club Pros

Here’s how life works for the qualifiers at golf’s second major.
February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.
May 18, 2024

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.
May 14, 2024

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.
May 9, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) stands with the team during the national anthem on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
May 12, 2024

‘Perfect Storm’: The Rise of Local WNBA Broadcast Pacts

With national attention reaching new heights, regional coverage could dictate the future.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

Chaos at the PGA Championship: Here’s What We Know

The No. 1 golfer in the world nearly didn’t make it to Valhalla Golf Club.
May 15, 2024

Caitlin Clark Debuts With WNBA’s Most-Watched Game in Decades

The game averaged 2.12 million viewers, the WNBA’s highest since 2001.
May 17, 2024

World’s Best Golfer Arrested Attempting to Enter PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler was arrested and released by Louisville police Friday morning.

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
Portuguese superstar Cristiano Rolando gives thumbs during World Cup match
May 15, 2024

The 25 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World

Cristiano Ronaldo takes the crown as the highest-paid athlete in the world.
May 15, 2024

Caitlin Clark’s Pro Debut: Inside the Connecticut Casino Pressure Cooker

Clark struggled on the court as the hype exploded off it.
May 13, 2024

Rich Running Fan Pays Boston Marathon Winner After Organizers Still Haven’t

The Boston Athletic Association still owes the winner $100,000.
May 13, 2024

Bronny James Reportedly Staying in Draft After Medical Clearance

James immediately becomes the draft’s most polarizing prospect.