Cindric, Ruzewski among four suspended by Penske amid P2P scandal

Roger Penske has suspended multiple members of his Team Penske IndyCar operation in the wake of the push-to-pass cheating ordeal that led to fines and disqualifications for Josef Newgarden’s No. 2 entry that won at St. Petersburg, and also for the third-placed No. 3 entry for Scott McLaughlin.

Team Penske president Tim Cindric, who also oversees the No. 2 car as its race strategist, managing director Ron Ruzewski, No. 2 race engineer Luke Mason, and assistant engineer Robbie Atkinson have been suspended for the next two IndyCar races in reaction to the matter. The suspension means the four employees will not be allowed to take part in Team Penske’s month of May activities in any capacity, including this weekend’s Indianapolis Grand Prix or the Indianapolis 500, which was won by Newgarden in 2023 with Cindric and Mason on his timing stand.

“Following the penalties to the Team Penske IndyCar team and drivers after Long Beach, Team Penske has completed an internal review,” said a Team Penske statement. “After a full and comprehensive analysis of the information, Team Penske has determined that there were significant failures in our processes and internal communications.


“As a result, Luke Mason (No. 2 race engineer) and Robbie Atkinson (Senior Data Engineer) will be suspended from Team Penske for the next two IndyCar races including the Indianapolis 500.

“In addition, Ron Ruzewski (managing director, Team Penske IndyCar) will also be suspended for these two races, along with Tim Cindric (president of Team Penske), who has accountability for all of Team Penske’s operations.”

Atkinson, the data specialist on the No. 12 Chevy driven by Will Power, who didn’t make illegal use of push-to-pass but whose car was in illegal configuration for the first two months of the season, was the only member of its third entry to be sanctioned by Penske.

In Team Penske’s explanation of how the team unintentionally loaded the illegal hybrid software into its three race cars, it’s believed Atkinson was the person responsible for the transgression.

Responding to the suspension, Cindric said, “For Ron and I as leaders of this team, it’s not about what we did, it’s about what we didn’t do. It is our responsibility to provide the Team and all our drivers with the right processes to ensure something like this can’t happen.

“For that, I apologize to Roger, our Team and everyone that supports us. Our number one job is to protect and enhance the reputation of our brand and that of those that support us. In that regard, as the overall leader, I failed, and I must raise my hand and be accountable with the others. This is a team, and in my position, it’s the right thing to do.”

Of note, Penske did not suspend any members of McLaughlin’s No. 3 team, which could be perceived as a form of vindication.

“I recognize the magnitude of what occurred and the impact it continues to have on the sport to which I’ve dedicated so many decades,” said Roger Penske. “Everyone at Team Penske along with our fans and business partners should know that I apologize for the errors that were made and I deeply regret them.”

Story originally appeared on Racer