Originally posted on Indy Racing Revolution  |  Last updated 4/11/12
Both drivers suffer 10-spot penalty on Long Beach starting grid

When a report came out that James Hinchcliffe would suffer a 10-spot penalty on the starting grid for Sunday's race in Long Beach after suffering engine problems on his No. 27 Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, the reaction from fans on social media was decisively negative -- growing to the point where INDYCAR race director Beaux Barfield took it upon himself to talk about the subject on Twitter.

Per INDYCAR engine rules, a powerplant needs to go 1,850 miles before it can be changed out without the aforementioned penalty; if the engine doesn't reach that mileage point before it gets changed out, it's unapproved. However, important issues of cost containment aside, fans appeared to be annoyed over the fact that Hinchcliffe could get penalized for his engine blowing up in a test session, not an event weekend.

Nonetheless, INDYCAR has announced that Hinchcliffe will be hit with the 10-spot call for Long Beach. Also getting hit is Dragon Racing's Sebastien Bourdais, whose engine needed to replaced after he finished ninth at Barber Motorsports Park two weeks ago.

A bit of thinking reveals both sides of the coin. With full-fledged engine wars returning this season, INDYCAR has to keep the costs down and also ensure that the manufacturers don't get cute with "special" engines. Thus, the 1,850-mile marker and other rules, such as the limit of five "fresh" engines for each team this season.

But when you consider that the engines for Long Beach have been used for two major tests this month at Indianapolis and Sonoma, it brings up a valid argument for test-only powerplants. If those existed, chances are we would've seen faster speeds at the IMS test and teams not curtailing testing to save their race engines. There's still plenty to be learned about the Dallara DW12, so every bit of track time is important.

The rule is clear and INDYCAR is certainly running with precedent, as Hinchcliffe and Bourdais' engine penalties are the fourth and fifth such violations so far in 2012. But perhaps this is one matter that needs to be re-addressed at a later time.

--

RHR aims to contend again at Long Beach

After winning in 2010 and battling for another victory last season before gearbox problems sidelined him late, Ryan Hunter-Reay will look to once again play a pivotal role in the outcome at Long Beach.

The American driver heads back to the Beach this weekend after falling three spots to sixth in the championship last weekend at Barber. But he's still high on his chances to contend for the title.

"We're going to try our best to make it all work this year," Hunter-Reay said. "We all know we can do it. I feel absolute confidence within myself I can get it done. We just need to be consistent."

As for this weekend, RHR believes that performing well will come down to staying on top of car setup.

"Every session will be going out trying to make the car better," he said. "It's still such a learning process with [the DW12]. Every street circuit we go to, every road course we go to, needs different settings from the car. That's what we'll be concentrating on.

"With the weather we may have this weekend, it's going to make it that much more difficult, because the track is going to be constantly changing."

Temperatures are expected to be a bit cooler than normal this weekend at Long Beach, hanging in the 50s and 60s. Also, rain is expected to fall on Friday, which could make for an interesting opening day of activity.

--

Al Unser Jr. pleads guilty in DWI case

The Associated Press reports that two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. has pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and racing another car at speeds over 100 miles per hour last September on an freeway in Albuquerque, N.M.

Unser Jr. was sentenced to 90 days in prison, but according to the AP, a judge has deferred that sentence. Instead, the racing legend will undergo 364 days of supervised probation.

--

Quotes/materials from league releases were used in the making of this article.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brandon Marshall on Newton’s presser: ‘You can’t do that’

Sabathia on post-rehab health: The best I've felt in three years

Carmelo Anthony says he's putting his trust in Phil Jackson

Lynn Swann: Calvin Johnson not a Hall of Famer

NFL requiring background checks for combine participants

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl

Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Oscillation, thy name is Pablo Sandoval

Mat Latos could be the steal of free agency

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker