Miles “not satisfied” with IndyCar stewarding, aims to improve consistency

Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, which operates IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has named consistency and transparency as the “critical values” for the series’ new stewarding lineup.

Miles “not satisfied” with IndyCar stewarding, aims to improve consistency
Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman and Company
Stefano Coletti, KV Racing Technology and Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet crash
Dan Davis
Arie Luyendyk
Max Papis and Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske Chevrolet
Max Papis
Ford's Dan Davis congratulates Michel Jourdain Jr. after his pole position
Arie Luyendyk
Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions photoshoot: Arie Luyendyk
Start crash involving Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet and Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and others
Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Tony Kanaan and Max Papis

At the Verizon IndyCar Series’ two-day Test in the West, Miles held a press conference along with president of competition Jay Frye and two of the newly-appointed race stewards – chief steward Dan Davis, and steward Max Papis. (Arie Luyendyk is currently on holiday.)

Miles admitted to the assembled media: “We’re not satisfied with our performance last year. Many of these [new] measures are aimed at making improvements around consistency.

“We think the competitors and the teams ought to know what the rules are and know in advance what they can expect in the way of penalties if they are breaking the rules. I call that transparency. Those are critical values.”

Miles reiterated what Frye told Motorsport.com regarding race director Brian Barnhart’s new role.

“He’s got to control the pits, the safety cars, the pace car, all the mechanics that are very important,” said Miles, “but not officiating in the sense of deciding when there’s an infraction, and if there is an infraction, what the penalties should be.

“Part of the rationale is that we want Brian not to be distracted… by thinking about whether there were penalties and if there were infractions, what the penalties ought to be. We think we have the right guy in that position, he’s got so much experience,” he said, pointing directly to Davis.

Davis looked to return

Davis himself, who led Ford Racing for 11 years, cited “honesty, integrity and fairness” as his guiding tenets throughout his career and going forward in his new role in IndyCar.

“If you don’t have integrity you don’t have anything,” he said. “That is what we’re going to bring to the stewardship. I think it’s important and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Since leaving his position at Ford Racing and a management slot with Miller Motorsports Park, Davis said he had been looking for the right way to get into open-wheel racing.

He said: “I was just looking for a way to get in and help. I tried to make that known. Then Jay got ahold of me and said, ‘Do you have any interest? Let’s chat.’ Off we went.”

Papis can "make a difference"

Papis, a three-time Indy car race winner, said he took the position because of the love he has for the sport. "It’s been the No. 1 reason why I came here," he said.

“When Jay called me, I asked him exactly what he wanted out of me. When he told me the words ‘consistency, transparency,’ I was sold.”

Papis, who is still an active racer and intends to drive at least the two road races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup calendar in 2016, said he believed that will give him a useful perspective as a race steward.

He said: “I’m still a racecar driver. It’s a set of eyes that really can determine the reasons things are happening on the track. It is going to make a really big difference.

“Everything that I will do, everything that we will do, will be for the love of the sport and nothing else.”

Kanaan praises new stewards' roster

A friend of Papis, 2004 IndyCar champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan, welcomed the new line-up.

The Chip Ganassi Racing ace said: “I think they have a big responsibility. They’re going to have tough calls to make, so hopefully they will get it right.

“It helps we have two drivers there because then we [as drivers] can see there’s a person who understands about racing. Then it’s a good balance having Dan there, too. I think it’s a good combination.

“I hope they’re ready to take a lot of heat because that’s what’s going to happen to them. That’s just the nature of the business.”

Kanaan said that when stewarding decisions went against him, he didn’t expect it to affect his friendship with Papis.

“We’re bigger people than that,” he said. “We’re here working – he has a job to do and I have a job to do. We’re not going to agree 100 percent of the time. If I do something, he’s going to see it one way and I’m going to see it a different way.

“In this case he has the power to decide, so even if I agree with him – or not! – at the end it’s going to be his decision. I totally understand that. Let me put it this way: I would not lose a friendship of 25 years because of one race.”

Kanaan also believed that Davis as chief steward and Papis and Luyendyk as stewards would make a strong combination, and was preferable to having just one person making the decisions.

“When it’s one person’s job, it’s that point of view and that’s it,” Kanaan observed. “There are two drivers who have driven a racecar. I think it’s a good combination. Now it’s up to us to obey the rules.”

shares
comments
Honda “still needs to figure out" its new IndyCar aerokit

Previous article

Honda “still needs to figure out" its new IndyCar aerokit

Next article

KVSH Racing confirms Sebastien Bourdais for 2016 season

KVSH Racing confirms Sebastien Bourdais for 2016 season
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Arie Luyendyk
Author Anne Proffit
Colton Herta – America's next racing hero Prime

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero

Last Sunday, Colton Herta demolished his IndyCar opposition in the second round of the season. David Malsher-Lopez explains why Andretti Autosport’s youngest ace bears all the hallmarks of becoming the country’s next homegrown motorsport hero.

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival? Prime

How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car? Prime

Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car?

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indy car game-changer that won three Indy 500s in six years.

IndyCar
Dec 23, 2020