[Source: INDYCAR press release]
INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, April 28, 2012) – INDYCAR has fined and placed Panther Racing CEO and managing partner John Barnes on probation through Dec. 31 for posting a comment using improper or disparaging language in reference to INDYCAR on his Twitter account. The amount of the fine is $25,000.
Pursuant to Rule 18.104.22.168 of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook: Using improper, profane or disparaging language or gestures in reference to Officials, Members or actions or situations connected in any way with INDYCAR, the IZOD IndyCar Series or any Event.
Barnes may contest the penalties pursuant to the procedures and timelines detailed in the rulebook. A protest/appeal may result in an increase, decrease or no change to the penalties.
[The text of the tweet in question: "Today is the day to resolve TURBOGATE! I hope @Indycar gets their act together. It has been embarassing." -Ed.]
[Source: Panther Racing press release]
Statement from Panther Racing Owner John Barnes On IndyCar Fine, Probation
SAO PAULO, Brazil (April 28, 2012) – Panther Racing has released the following statement from team Managing Partner and CEO John Barnes following today’s decision by INDYCAR to fine and place him on probation following comments posted on his Twitter account. The team has not decided if it will appeal the fine or probation at this time. The statement reads as follows:
“Nobody cares about open-wheel racing and the Indianapolis 500 more than I do, and therefor I’m very passionate about all the decisions that are made – right or wrong – that affect our sport. I’m not the first person who has disagreed with a sports league or sanctioning body’s decision and I certainly won’t be the last to get fined for doing so. While my passion for this sport will never waver, I should have chosen a more private forum to voice my opinions. Even if we don’t always agree, I respect the authority of the IndyCar Series and its officials and will continue to abide by their rules and regulations.”