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Penske-speak Strikes Again

Josef Newgarden, Ron Ruzewski And Roger Penske

Sometimes being too caught up in jargon in trying to explain yourself can be a bit of a detriment in making oneself clear when explaining a point.

Kind of like that last sentence, right? Well, don’t worry, that won’t happen again. In the case of Team Penske, that might be a different story.

Two weeks after the team was stripped of its win in St. Petersburg, there’s now a show of self-awareness, at least some, coming from the Captain’s side of the table.

The Punishment

Team Penske announced this week that four senior members of the organization have been suspended for the NTT IndyCar Series’ Month of May at Indianapolis as a result of an internal investigation following the double disqualification of Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin from the season-opening race at St. Petersburg.

Newgarden’s side of the team faced half of the punishment as Team President Tim Cindric (who also doubles as Newgarden’s race strategist) was one of the four suspended, as was Newgarden’s race engineer Luke Mason. Managing Director Ron Ruzewski was also suspended as was senior data engineer Robbie Atkinson. Atkinson works on Will Power‘s car while Ruzewski also calls strategy for the No. 12 entry.

This is a bit unfair to Power, but Atkinson might have been the main party responsible for what happened, so that suspension makes sense.

Back to the suspension announcement itself, though.

“After a full and comprehensive analysis of the information, Team Penske has determined that there were significant failures in our processes and internal communications.”

The Merit

Team Penske has had an image through the years of perfection, hence the wording of the announcement. But sometimes being more direct is more effective than hiding behind an image.

And this is nothing against Penske’s communications staff. Far from it. The professionals that work in that department are doing what they have been instructed to do since their first day on the job and they are very good at what they do.

However, the tone of the release just reeks of soullessness and over-explanation that could be simplified by simply saying “The team achieved a significant technical advantage outside of the IndyCar rulebook and were penalized for the rules breach by INDYCAR. As such, the people responsible will be suspended.”

The suspensions themselves were the right move. There’s no denying that. The team might have had a bit more good…

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