Fan Info - INDYCAR 101 - Rulebook - Chapter 9: Penalties

Download Updated Rulebook: 2019 NTT IndyCar Series Rulebook (Full)

IMPORTANT: The rulebook content below was released to all parties on March 1, 2019, and should be considered UNOFFICIAL. No in-season amendments or bulletins are reflected in the below copy. Please refer to the above PDF link for the updated rulebook.


9.1. General  

9.1.1. INDYCAR may penalize any Member for any violation of the Rules. If an Official observes or is made aware of an act or omission by a Member that constitutes a violation of the Rules, the Official shall promptly report the violation to INDYCAR. INDYCAR shall consider the report and shall conduct whatever additional inquiry it deems appropriate under the circumstances. After concluding the inquiry, INDYCAR shall determine whether disciplinary action is appropriate and if so, what disciplinary action should be taken. The Member shall be informed of the determination and if disciplinary action is imposed, INDYCAR shall issue a penalty notice to the Member specifying the violation, a brief statement of the circumstances of the violation and the penalty imposed. If the act or omission of a Member is determined by INDYCAR to constitute a threat to the integrity or safety of INDYCAR, the NTT IndyCar Series or to the orderly conduct of an Event or to constitute a violation during an Event, INDYCAR may take immediate action against the Member.

9.1.2. The Race Stewards shall monitor violations of the Sporting Regulations of the Rules during Qualifications and/or Races. The Race Stewards and/or the Race Director may request a Steward’s Review at any time. Each Race Steward votes for or against the issuance of a penalty, a majority vote determines if a penalty is issued, and the individual votes are not released or made public. Once this determination is made, the Race Stewards shall determine the severity of the penalty from the Penalty Guidelines developed by INDYCAR based on majority vote. A Race Steward will notify the Race Director who shall advise the Competitors and broadcast/media of the determination and/or penalty either: (i) “Car #___ was under Steward’s Review and no further action is required” or (ii) “Quoting Rule #___ and Car #___, the penalty is issued.”

9.2. Scope of Penalties

9.2.1. Penalties for violations of the Rules are divided into two categories: Race Procedure penalties and non-Race Procedure penalties. Penalties are determined by the gravity of the violation and its impact on the fairness of competition, the orderly conduct of the Event and the interests and integrity of automobile racing, INDYCAR and the NTT IndyCar Series. INDYCAR shall have the authority to impose any or all or any combination of the following penalties against any Member for any violations of the Rules at any time.

9.2.2. Race Procedure Penalties – Violation of Race Procedures generally result in penalties imposed during on-Track activity. If circumstances do not permit a penalty to be served during on-Track activity, INDYCAR shall declare the results provisional and subject to examination which shall take no longer than one (1) hour after the displaying of the checkered flag. This examination is independent of the Competitor’s requirement to pass post-Race technical inspection. If the imposition of a penalty is near or at the end of the on-Track activity and the Driver/Car does not fulfill it, INDYCAR may reposition the Driver/Car in the posting of results. Additional penalties may be applied to subsequent on-Track activities to reflect the fulfillment of the penalty. Except as provided in Rule 10.2.1, the penalty, including without limitation any repositioning in a posting, is non-reviewable and/or appealable. Black Flag – INDYCAR may impose black flag penalties. Laps – INDYCAR may impose lap penalties. Lap penalties shall be imposed in complete laps only. The imposition of a lap penalty shall result in the removal of official credit for the specified number of penalty laps from the total laps credited to the Competitor and the scoring records and all points and awards shall reflect the removal of penalty laps. If the lap penalty is imposed during the on-Track activity, the removal of official credit shall begin with the Competitor's lap in which the violation occurred and shall include subsequent consecutive laps, as determined by INDYCAR. If the lap penalty is imposed after the on-Track activity is completed, INDYCAR shall determine, based on the severity of the violation, whether the removal of official credit shall begin with the Competitor's last lap and include previous consecutive laps as required, or begin with the Competitor's lap in which the violation occurred. INDYCAR shall make a reasonable effort to notify the penalized Competitor of a lap penalty at the time it is determined. However, failure to notify the Competitor during the on-Track activity will in no way mitigate or change the penalty. Time – INDYCAR may impose time penalties as described below. The imposition of a time penalty may result in the removal or addition of the specified amount of time to the Competitor and the timing and scoring records and awards shall reflect the removal or addition of time. If the time penalty is imposed during a subsequent on-Track activity, the time shall be removed from the Entrant’s Open Test or Team Test, practice session and/or Qualifications period. The time penalty must be fulfilled when directed by INDYCAR. The time penalty begins when the Member, the Member’s Car and Entrant personnel are in Pit Lane. If the time penalty is imposed during the current on-Track activity, time shall be removed or added to the Entrant’s overall time on the official posting. On-Track Repositioning – INDYCAR may impose a repositioning penalty during on-Track activities. The repositioning penalty will result in an order change of the Car’s on-Track position. Starting Lineup Repositioning – INDYCAR may impose a Starting Lineup penalty. A Starting Lineup penalty is repositioning of an Entrant in the Starting Lineup. If a Starting Lineup repositioning penalty is announced, the recipient of the repositioning penalty may not pit until a Green Condition occurs, unless approved by INDYCAR. Disqualification – INDYCAR may disqualify the Member. Disqualification shall entail the loss of any right to compete in the remainder of the current Event from the time at which the disqualifying condition first occurred. It may entail the forfeiture of Entry fees paid or payable and INDYCAR shall determine, based on the severity of the violation, whether or not the disqualification includes the forfeiture of points and awards earned up to the moment at which time the infraction for the disqualification first occurs.

9.2.3. Non-Race Procedure Penalties – Violations of non-Race Procedures generally result in penalties imposed during off-Track activity. Penalties are reviewable and/or appealable except as provided in Rule 10.2.1. Additional Appearances and/or Meetings – INDYCAR may require a Member to attend and actively participate in appearances and/or meetings in addition to those required of the Member, other Members, pursuant to the Rules and any other agreements. INDYCAR may specify the due date for completion. Failure to attend and/or participate by the due datemay result in reinstatement of the monetary fine if a monetary fine was imposed, or additional penalties as determined by INDYCAR. Monetary Fines – INDYCAR may issue monetary fines and specify the due date for payment. Unpaid fines may be deducted from any awards payable by INDYCAR to the Entrant or Manufacturer associated with such Member. INDYCAR may suspend or refuse to approve the renewal of the License and/or membership of any Member failing to timely pay any fine during the period the fine remains unpaid. Probation – INDYCAR may place a Member on probation. Probation is a state of limitation upon a Member’s privileges. During probation, a Member is under heightened scrutiny and the Member can be required to abide by specified standards of conduct that are more stringent than those which are otherwise applicable to Members under the Rules. If a Member violates probation, the Member is subject to a more severe penalty as determined by INDYCAR. INDYCAR shall determine the duration and conditions of probation. Suspension – INDYCAR may suspend a Member. A suspension may be total suspension from INDYCAR or it may be limited to a suspension of membership or License privileges at a Race Location facility or facilities, or for a particular Event or Events, or for a specified or indefinite period of time. Unless expressly limited, a suspension shall entail the loss of any right to take part in any capacity whatsoever in any Event or Events included in the suspension. Unless otherwise stated, individuals under suspension will not be issued credentials of any kind for an Event and the privileges and uses of the Track, pit area, garage area and other restricted areas will be denied. Every suspended individual shall return all credentials and/or Licenses to INDYCAR who will not return them until the term of the suspension has expired. Any delay in surrendering the credentials and/or Licenses may be added to the term of the suspension. If the suspended individual does not return the credentials and/or Licenses, the credentials and/or Licenses shall be inoperative and invalid until the lifting of the suspension and the Member may be subject to additional penalty for failure to return the credentials and/or Licenses. Suspension may also render void any previous Entry made for any Event occurring during the term of such suspension and may entail the forfeiture of any applicable Entry fees paid or payable for any such Entries. INDYCAR shall have the right to reduce, increase, or otherwise modify the unexpired term of a suspension issued under the Rules. Loss of Points and/or Awards – INDYCAR may rule that a Member who violates the Rules will forfeit all or a portion of the points and/or awards earned in that year, including points and awards earned in the Event in which the violation occurred.

9.3. Additional Provisions and Guidelines

9.3.1. Improper Conduct – Any Member attempting to or engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct, unsafe conduct, or conduct detrimental to racing; INDYCAR; and/or to the NTT IndyCar Series, whether during an Event or on/off the Track, may be subject to any or all penalties. Improper conduct shall include, without limitation: Engaging in reckless, careless, unsafe, and/or overly aggressive actions, or unsportsmanlike behavior; Impeding the conduct of an Event, including Car control, placement and inconsistent driving pattern; Causing an avoidable Yellow or Red Condition; Endangering the safety of Members, or others; Failing to participate at competitive speed; Failing to interact with other Cars on-Track to the satisfaction of INDYCAR; Failing to follow the direction of INDYCAR; and/or Using improper, profane, or disparaging language or gestures in reference to any Official, Members or anyone else or improper, profane or disparaging language or gestures in reference to, concerning or connected in any way with INDYCAR, the NTT IndyCar Series, or any Event and could result in additional penalties as determined by INDYCAR.

9.3.2. Blocking – A Driver must not alter his/her racing line to pursuing Drivers.

9.3.3. Avoidable Contact – The primary responsibility for avoiding contact with a Competitor resides with the overtaking Competitor and the secondary responsibility resides with the Competitor(s) being overtaken. A Competitor who fails to demonstrate their responsibility and initiates a maneuver that results in contact with another Competitor may be penalized. Driver Involved in Multiple Contact – Any Driver determined to be in violation of Rule 9.3.3. (avoidable contact) two (2) times during any three (3) consecutive Race Events shall be placed on probation for a period of the Drivers next five (5) Race Events.

9.3.4. Team Tactics and/or Team Orders – Team tactics and/or Team orders are actions or omissions by one or more Members to artificially influence, affect, alter, and/or otherwise interfere with the normal course of an on-Track Event. Team tactics and/or Team orders are not permitted. If INDYCAR determines one or more Members attempted to or engaged in Team tactics and/or Team orders, INDYCAR may issue a penalty to any or all of the Members, including without limitation any or all of a Team’s Car/Driver combinations.

9.3.5. Assault or Battery – If any Member shall attempt to or commit an assault or battery, such Member may be disqualified and/or suspended by INDYCAR and may be subject to additional penalties.

9.3.6. Gambling on Events – Applicants and Members shall not engage, nor attempt to engage, in any gambling activity (as defined below) relating to any Event, or any portion of an Event, (i) in which INDYCAR is involved, including, but not limited to, NTT IndyCar Series, Indy Lights, Indy Pro 2000 Championship, USF2000 National Championship and/or MX-5 Cup events, or (ii) that in the judgment of INDYCAR could represent and represents the potential for a conflict of interest, unsportsmanlike conduct or conduct detrimental to racing and/or INDYCAR Group. This Rule applies to all gambling activities including without limitation, those available in any gaming facility, casino, lottery gaming facility, racetrack gaming facility, or on the internet or electronically, or in all other establishments and locations. Gambling activity, for purposes of the above, is defined as placing anything of value at risk, whether monetary or otherwise, in connection with a bet, wager, or game of chance. If an applicant or Member wishes to participate in any gambling activity associated with or related to INDYCAR or its affiliates (for example, a celebrity blackjack tournament), he/she may do so only if he/she has received the prior written authorization of INDYCAR. Such authorization, if granted, will be limited to the extent authorized by INDYCAR.

9.3.7. Social Media – Competitors and Officials must comply with provisions of the INDYCAR Social Media Policy at all times.

9.3.8. Detrimental Member Conduct – The favorable reputation of INDYCAR, and its Members, is a valuable asset and creates tangible benefits to all involved. Accordingly, it is an obligation of all Members to refrain from engaging in conduct which is detrimental to INDYCAR and its Members. Such conduct shall include, but not be limited to comments to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage Members or INDYCAR. Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with INDYCAR are not prohibited. However, public comments a Member knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation or financial best interests of a Member or INDYCAR are expressly covered by this Rule.