Tony vs Tony

Posted by Iannucci | 4/02/2008 | 11 comments »
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In perusing the various message boards, one notices that one of the more vehemently discussed items from this weekend is Tony Kanaan’s decision to take the final green flag despite driving on only three wheels. Most folks have been wondering why the #11 wasn’t ordered to pull off the track, but now the truth is being told: (Jack Arute voice) he was.

Going on the record Tony Cotman, IRL vice president of Bringing The Law, says Kanaan pretty much ignored orders from everyone in order to gain a couple more positions in the final results.

“When the one-lap signal was given, IRL race control told him (Kanaan) to get off the track and pull down on the warmup lane and the Andretti Green team told him the same thing but he ignored us,” said Cotman.

Brian Barnhart, IRL president of competition, spoke with Kanaan afterwards but it’s not known whether any disciplinary action will be taken.

(MORE from SpeedTV)
Other than rudely pinching-down on Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon a few times, Nariz drove an admirable race on Saturday. Not only should he have won, but it’s a testament to his massive driving skillz that Ernesto Viso is walking around today. However, no matter how many wins or how big the nose, if Race Control orders a driver to do something then the command needs to be obeyed. It doesn’t matter if they tell him to pull over and juggle live chickens, he or she must respect their Authori-tah!

And please, none of this “speaking with afterwards” is going to solve the problem because issues on the track need to be settled on the track: The Solution? If Kanaan liked driving on three wheels so much then let’s see him qualify for the next race with that setup. Hey, if the Vision guys can get sent to the back for a little wing-ding trouble, what should ignoring a verbal black flag get you? Just sayin’.

Besides, in watching the replay one can’t help but wonder if Kanaan’s inability to accelerate may have hurt his teammate’s chance at winning, because it sure didn’t look like Marco Andretti was anywhere near Scott Dixon on that restart. I mean, it wouldn’t have been the first time Andretti teammates would have exhibited co-ordination issues.

11 comments

  1. pressdog // April 02, 2008 1:05 PM  

    Agreed. Barnhart/Cotman better bring the pain or be prepared to give everyone else who ignores them a pass as well. Fair is fair, chief. Of course we'll never know because league discipline is none of our business. All we do is provide ticket revenue and ratings points so we should just shut up about it.

  2. mmack // April 02, 2008 1:17 PM  

    In an attempt to capture some of the N-Word Cell Phone Series ratings excitement, The Iron Hand of Justice (TM) has decided the IRL will adopt that league's graduated rules enforcement policy. Based on a formula that takes into account a combination of the number of cars a team owns, the dollar amount of souvenirs a driver sells and the driver's rank in online popularity polls, all divided by the personal wealth of the team owner(s), penalties will range from draconian to polite but firm admonishment. If this new approach works look for lights to be added to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway so the Indy 500 can be run at night, and a four race "Chase for the Vanderbuilt Cup" to decide the ICS champion to be added for the 2009 season. The rumored substitution of Darrell Waltrip for Marty Reed at ABC\ESPN is simply speculation at this point.

    Getting back to the issue at hand, when Tony didn't respond Race Control should have called up to the flagman and told them to show the black flag to ol' #11. At that point if Nariz doesn't answer it, well, sorry Tony, we stopped scoring you. (Tony may want to call up to the booth and ask Scott Goodyear how well ignoring a black flag at Indianapolis in 1995 worked out for him.)

    Jeff, I'm 100% with you on this: I like Tony, but rules are rules. We already have one racing series in this country with a unique interpretation and enforcement of it's own rules. We don't need another. I mean what's next, Green-White-Checkered finishes?

  3. mmack // April 02, 2008 1:27 PM  

    Although it would have been fun to see either Cotman or Barnhart come up to Tony after the race, whack him in the shin with a night stick, and say in their best Officer Cartman voice: "Maybe this will teach you to LISTEN TO AUTHOR-I-TAY!"

    >:^P

  4. Jeff Iannucci // April 02, 2008 1:38 PM  
  5. Mike // April 02, 2008 1:53 PM  

    TK should have been black flagged. The other Tony, however, should not have allowed the race to restart with TK still on the track. This should have been handled on Saturday night. Just making a statement to the press that the IRL and AGR told him to get off the track does not relieve the League of guilt. If he chose not to get off the track when directed, he should have been black flagged. If he further chose not to get off the track after being black flagged, he should have not been scored for this race and sat down for St. Pete.

    Safety has become much more important at the ovals with more cars on the track and the inexperienced CCWS refugees. This should not have been allowed to happen.

  6. Jerry // April 02, 2008 2:03 PM  

    Although I don't like the NASCRAP I do like their policy on penalties to those who think they can violate any rules.

    In this case, TK should have been docked championship points and dropped to 20th on the race results.

    I mean, common, safety is more important...he had a marvelous race, but as he himself said, it was just bad luck on this one. Live with it!!!

  7. Anonymous // April 02, 2008 2:47 PM  

    qualifying on three wheels...
    hmmm maybe the new car will be a modified three wheel reliant. I think those things got to 65mph

  8. Joe // April 02, 2008 5:39 PM  

    Like Mike said - the ICS should have never allowed the race to go green once Kanaan went past the pit entrance. They had plenty of time to waive off the restart and black flag the #11.

    And I don't think it's Cotman's call - it's Barnhart's.

    As far as penalty, I don't think the ICS has the guts to penalize the AGR team leader at AGR's big race. At worst, he'll miss some practice time.

  9. John in Speedway // April 02, 2008 6:13 PM  

    We all love TK, that's a given. I hate to see any of the drivers get doc'd points, especially TK, but it is true that a precedent needs to be set. Especially with unification, increased media attention and scrutiny, so on and so forth. The last thing we need is all the refugee teams and fans whining and crying even more than they already are. I'd say a small slap on the wrist fine and a few points is sufficient. I think TK will win Indy this year, so in the long run, it won't matter whether he wins the championship or not.

  10. pressdog // April 03, 2008 4:50 AM  

    Tony, docked points? A Big Three team docked points. Hahahahahahahahaha. Maybe a monetary fine. Maybe. Again, we'll probably never know since it's NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. We're just paying fans, is all. Why should the league actually let us know what's going on, discipline wise? Robin Miller's reporting is probably our only hope of knowing what goes down.

  11. Anonymous // April 03, 2008 11:58 PM  

    Why is Barhart still in control of race control ?? Cotman would do a much better job !

    and TK you know better. I'm a fan of yours , don't do it again.