Scheckter Benched Fined
May 3, 2002 | 12:00 A.M. EST
After it was rumored Indy Racing League rookie Tomas Scheckter may be suspended for the Indianapolis 500 for his over-aggressive driving style, IRL Vice President of Operations Barnhart decided instead to suspend Schekter through May 7.
Scheckter was also fined an undisclosed amount of money and placed on extended probation though the end of the year.
Scheckter, driver of the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, was penalized pursuant to Rules 8.1 and 8.3 (A) of the Indy Racing League Rule Book. He will be eligible to return to on-track activity at the Indianapolis 500 on Wednesday, May 8, three days after Opening Day on May 5.
Word spread last week that Barnhart was not happy to see Scheckter try to pass Jaques Lazier on Lap 112 of the Firestone Indy 225 with the same tight squeeze of a move the young South African used when he crashed into team owner Eddie Cheever at Homestead in March. Barnhart warned the 21-year-old to not use the same risky move, but that warning was not heeded.
According to Dr. Henry Bock, director of medical services for the IRL, Scheckter is now medically cleared to drive after suffering injuries in a crash during the Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway.
Scheckter may appeal the penalty according to Section 12.1 of the Rule Book. An appeal may result in an increase, decrease or no change to the penalty.