It was fairly obvious that Sean Guthrie was quite upset after receiving the black flag in Kansas, when he stated "Another Dumb Decision by the IRL". Since that time, he has offered up an official statement.
Sean Guthrie, driver of the No. 4 Guthrie Meyer Racing Firestone Indy Lights entry, was penalized for failing to follow the direction of Officials, failing to slow down under yellow conditions and failing to follow the direction of safety personnel in an accident scene.
His actions were in violation of multiple rules regarding safety of participants and caution periods as listed in the Firestone Indy Lights Rule Book.
Jim Guthrie was penalized for failing to follow the direction of Officials and for conduct detrimental to the sport.
The penalized parties may appeal their penalty as prescribed in the Firestone Indy Lights Rule Book. An appeal may result in an increase, decrease or no change to the penalty. -www.indycar.com
“I am very disappointed with the league’s decision to disqualify us for the remainder of the race. I came around the corner and had trouble getting the car to slow down due to the cold tires. I put the car in the safest place possible, and immediately gave the spot back after I passed the car in front of me under yellow. It was an unfortunate series of events but defiantly a learning experience that can be built upon in the future.” -Sean GuthrieButch Meyer who is the co-owner of Guthrie Meyer Racing offered his own release on the incident.
“I deeply regret the actions taken by my business partner and driver this past weekend at the Kansas race event. I understand the necessity and severity of the penalties levied by the Indy Racing League. Guthrie Meyer Racing will continue and adhere to the IRL’s standards of conduct and sportsmanship. I have the utmost respect for the league and agree with the IRL leadership that the safety of the drivers, crews, officials, safety personnel, and all others involved at the track is paramount.” - Butch Meyer, co-owner of GMRI have a few thoughts of my own on the situation. First and foremost, the Delphi safety team is out there risking their lives to keep these drivers safe. They do an excellent job, which was prominently displayed last weekend in Kansas, during the Kansas Lottery 100--where we saw 5 caution flags for 33 laps of the race. The concern for safety offered by the Delphi crew, should be reciprocated by the drivers. According to inside sources, Sean sped through the Pablo Donoso crash scene in an effort to catch the field under yellow. It was also reported that he locked up his brakes, just missing a Delphi safety truck as he entered the scene. This is unacceptable, which is probably a large part of the reasoning behind the Indy Racing League's decision to suspend Sean. I'm not sure what happened between IRL officials and Jim Guthrie, but I'm sure we can guess. Racing dads never like to see their son disqualified. Which leads me into my second thought...
When I first read about the suspension, I couldn't help but ask if the incident was perhaps blown out of proportion by the IRL-- after Sean (in the heat of the moment) publicly criticized their decisions. Since neither Jim or Sean Guthrie had been previously suspended by the IRL, an indefinite suspension seemed a little extreme to me. One would assume that a multi-race suspension would have offered sufficient punishment for Sean's on-track actions. I just hope the decision to ban Sean wasn't based on the actions of Jim Guthrie that were deemed "detrimental to the sport".
I'm sure we will hear more about this situation in the coming weeks, as an appeal is highly expected.