Fontana, CA (Sports Network) - IZOD IndyCar Series championship contenders Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay were among 14 drivers who incurred 10-grid spot penalties for Saturday's season-ending race at Auto Club Speedway due to unapproved engine changes.
According to IndyCar rules, an entrant is allowed no more than five newly- built engines throughout each year of the engine service agreement. Power and Hunter-Reay's team have now exceeded that limit for the 2012 season.
Furthermore, changing an engine before its 1,850-mile threshold will result in a grid spot penalty.
Power enters the 500-mile race at this two-mile Southern California racetrack with a 17-point lead over Hunter-Reay. Helio Castroneves, who is Power's teammate at Team Penske, is 52 points out of the lead, while Scott Dixon trails by 53. Castroneves and Dixon received 10-grid spot penalties for engine changes as well.
The Honda engines in Dario Franchitti's car and James Jakes' entry were changed, but both drivers were not penalized since they hit the approved engine mileage limit during Wednesday's test session in Fontana.
Qualifying for the race is scheduled for Friday at 5:15 p.m. (ET). It's the first time IndyCar is competing at this track since 2005.
09/14 16:05:48 ET