Schmidt Peterson Motorsports were left extremely frustrated after both of their drivers were penalized by IndyCar during qualifying at Watkins Glen.
In the opening session, James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Honda lost his fastest lap of 01:23.7342s after IndyCar officials deemed he had impeded another car after spinning on track.
As a result of the penalty the Mayor of HinchTown will start the race from 13th place and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
It was an incredibly frustrating day at the office, Honestly, the spin is irrelevant. We’re not advancing because of the decisions INDYCAR made. It’s just really disappointing. We put a lot of work into the Arrow Electronics car and made it a lot better from yesterday and we had P4 in that session. The guys did such a good job and we’re going to be starting way further back than we deserve to be for really no reason. The next step is to make a wicked fast race car and pass them all.
While Hinchcliffe was frustrated, his team mate Mikhail Aleshin in the No.7 SMP Racing Honda was mad. The Russian thought he had made it through to the Firestone Fast 6 however he too was penalized for an on track interference. Aleshin set a time of 01:23.2640s and as a result will start the race from 10th place.
Speaking following the session he commented by saying:
I think that I did all that I could, I thought that I just needed to let the other drivers go so that I could have a clear lap. I knew that Montoya was behind me so I moved to the right. You can see it on the replay. They’re far away and I’m moving to the right. INDYCAR gave me the penalty when I had two identical laps and I was in the top six. They didn’t take only one lap, they took away two fastest laps, even though I moved to the right. I think it’s not very fair. I have no words. I’m just sorry for my fans because I did all I could and the team did a fantastic job to bring the SMP Racing No. 7 car up there but here we go. We’re going to forget about today and fight for tomorrow.