IRL Warns of More Severe Penalties

Organisers of the Indy Racing League have threatened possible points deductions should there be a repeat of the boycott at this weekend's official drivers' autograph session at Michigan

IRL Warns of More Severe Penalties

Andretti Green Racing drivers Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta did not take part in the official mandatory autograph session at Milwaukee at the team's request, after female rookie Danica Patrick was given her own separate autograph line for the second time this season.

The drivers staged their own hour-long autograph session at their teams merchandise trailer instead. The protest was a stance against the way the series has promoted Patrick over the series' other drivers.

The IRL fined Andretti Green an undisclosed amount for the protest, and warned them that should it happen again then more serious sanctions could result.

IRL president Brian Barnhart said: "Moving forward, the league will not hesitate to transition from fines to more severe penalties such as moving cars to the back of the field or even a deduction in championship points."

However Barnhart thought that Andretti Green Racing appreciated the seriousness of their actions following a meeting with them this week.

"The decision by the team principals not to have their drivers appear at the league-mandated autograph session is a very serious situation," Barhardt added. "I know that all of our teams, including AGR, understand that an important aspect of the League's identity is accessibility."

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