IndyCar's competition boss Derrick Walker says that calls for a zero-tolerance policy on cars that fail technical inspections are unrealistic.
But he insists efforts to improve the procedure for assessing and punishing technical infractions will be ongoing.
The series faced criticism after Carlos Huertas' race-winning car from Houston was later found to be in breach of the regulations governing fuel tank capacity and rear wing dimensions.
The breaches attracted relatively minor punishments of $5000 each.
It was the second time that Dale Coyne Racing has won a race with a car that failed inspection.
An illegal aero part was found on Justin Wilson's sidepods following his victory at Texas in 2012, although that situation was mitigated somewhat by the fact that IndyCar's technical team failed to spot the infraction while inspecting the car during the course of the weekend.
NOT ALL SPEC PARTS ARE EQUAL
Walker told AUTOSPORT that atmospheric changes, as well as inherent variations between theoretically spec parts, means that a zero-tolerance approach to infractions would be unworkable.
"If you had zero tolerance with the dimensions and the weights and the fuel level, there are a lot of cars that wouldn't get out of Dodge," he said.
"People need to be careful what they wish for. If you want zero tolerance, we can do that.
"It would make our job really easy. We'd have tech done in no time at all, and we'd make a lot of money."
Walker said that the minor punishments meted out to Coyne for the Huertas infractions were a reflection of the small degree of the breaches, and the series' determination that they offered no advantage.
"It was a tenth of a gallon [of fuel], which is about a tall cappuccino at Starbucks' worth," Walker said.
"And when you analyse his race and where he finished, the net effect of having that tenth of a gallon in his tank didn't help him one little bit.
"He never got low enough [on fuel] that the tenth of a gallon made a difference."
According to Walker, the degree of variation between individual fuel cell units is high, and capacities can change through the course of the weekend depending upon circumstances.
Teams learn to adapt to the quirks of their cells and make appropriate compensations to ensure that they remain within the limits, and in the case of Huertas at Houston, Coyne miscalculated.
HEAVIER SANCTIONS POSSIBLE
With Coyne now developing a track record for winning with cars that have overstepped the boundaries, Walker said that future breaches by the team will be treated more severely.
"I can guarantee that if it comes back for a fuel cell or a rear wing infraction next time around on either of those [Coyne] cars it wouldn't get the same penalty," he said.
"When I first joined IndyCar there was a lot of talk about over-regulating. We tried to take a little bit of a different view, and I think we're still doing the job that people want.
"We're still policing like crazy trying to catch the real offenders.
"But at the same time, balance that against the penalty and the crime. Should Huertas really be nailed for that?
"I didn't think so but obviously I'm wrong, because a lot of other people feel that he should have been."
Different racing series deal with technical infractions in different ways: Formula 1 can disqualify an illegal car; NASCAR will almost always preserve a race win but will deduct the gains, most notably points and prize money.
In recent seasons, IndyCar has tended towards an even more moderate stance: both of Coyne's recent breaches only attracted fines, while Penske was fined and deducted team points but no driver points after Helio Castroneves' car failed a ride-height inspection following his win at Texas last year.
Nevertheless, Walker said that extreme punishments could not be ruled out in the future.
"Would we disqualify a race-winning car? It would have to be an egregious act, but I don't think you'd ever take it off the table," he said.
VIEWPOINT: BOBBY RAHAL (RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN)
"I guess it makes you wonder as a team, how far can I cheat before I get whacked? At what point will they fine you 10 grand and forgive you, versus disqualify me from the race? Where is that dividing line?
"Because I'll cheat all day long if all I have to do is pay five grand.
"This happened when Justin won at Texas and had more downforce. 'It was only a little bit'. Well, that little bit makes a difference.
"So it's, OK, when are you pregnant, and when are you not pregnant? A five grand penalty is not much of a deterrent when you stand to win $50k."
VIEWPOINT: BRYAN HERTA (BRYAN HERTA AUTOSPORT)
"I've got no problem with Coyne's penalty. I accept that none of the things gave him a winning advantage.
"For me, it's done. These cars, it's not like you just set something and it just stays.
"With temperature changes and everything there are fluctuations, and that's why we go through tech four, five, six times a weekend.
"I've seen it before: something's compliant, you don't touch it, and next time you go through tech it's not."