Andretti docked Rio points

CART announced late on Thursday in Japan that Michael Andretti has lost the four points and $17,500 in prize money he earned for finishing ninth in the Rio 200 in Brazil two weeks ago.

Andretti docked Rio points

The penalty was given because of Andretti's pit incident during the race which resulted in crewman Todd Tice suffering a broken right leg and ankle and John Littlefield sustaining a badly bruised left leg.

CART rules call for any driver involved in a injurious pit incident to be pulled out of the race, but chief steward Kirk Russell said the extent of Tice's injuries were not clear until after the finish of the race in Brazil.

"After meeting with team representatives and careful review of the facts, I met with the stewards at our first available opportunity and we have chosen to remove the points and awards gained by the no. 6 car team, thereby having the same effect as exclusion at the time of the event," said Russell.

"The finishing position will remain as part of the event record, but the points and awards will not be redistributed.

"Given the nature and severity of the incident, we would have excluded the no. 6 car from the remainder of the event. However, the information available at the time of the event did not support the action. We have to make call based on the best information at the time," Russell added.

"However, where safety is concerned, careful investigation of the facts after the event is especially appropriate. My utmost concern is for the safety of the participants, and the teams must understand the seriousness with which we regard thse circumstances."

The last time a Champ car driver lost championship points because of an on-track incident was at Mid-Ohio in 1998 when Alex Zanardi was fined $50,000 and forfeited one point for his twelfth-place finish for injustifiable risk after Zanardi ran Helio Castro-Neves off the road near the race's end.

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