Graham Rahal slams Josef Newgarden for 'ridiculous' final restart in Texas
Graham Rahal has slammed Team Penske's Josef Newgarden for the way the final restart was conducted during the DXC Technology 600 after making light contact with Simon Pagenaud.
With 12 laps remaining as the restarted the race after clearing up the mess left after the incident between Scott Dixon and Colton Herta, Newgarden led the field away, but Rahal believes he wasn't managing the restart according to the rules.
Within the 2019 IndyCar rulebook, chapter 18.104.22.168 states: 'At the appropriate time, the Pace Car lights will be turned off, indicating the intent to restart the Race.
'The leader is required to maintain the pace lap speed until reaching a point designated by INDYCAR near the start/finish line when the leader shall accelerate smoothly back to racing speed and the Green Condition will then be declared.
'All Car(s) must maintain their respective Track positions until the Green Condition is declared.'
The Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan driver felt the championship leader was not following this procedure which bunched the field up, causing everyone to hit their brakes in reaction.
"The brake checking from the leader was obscene," said Rahal. "We were well past the start zone, yet the brake checking persisted. We'd go, then bam, everybody is on the brakes.
No doubt, I did touch him [Pagenaud]. Luckily it was nose straight to the right rear, which didn't cut his tire or anything, I don't think.
"There's nothing you can do. I mean, that needs to be addressed, in my opinion, by the stewards. We've had issues with this before. It was clear. Accelerate, brake, accelerate, brake. It's ridiculous. It's dangerous on these things."
When asked if he felt Newgarden's final restart was the only one where he felt stacking was taking place, Rahal added: "For sure. For sure. If I'm not mistaken, it was the only time he was leading, too.
"Hunter-Reay's restart was great. Good, consistent flow. Good speed. It was just nice and clean. The last one I thought was ridiculous."
Rahal eventually finished in third while Newgarden went on to win the race.