Blocked: Castroneves apologizes for post-race tirade but still disagrees with call

Helio Castroneves still believes it was the wrong call.

He probably always will.

Eleven days after being stripped of a victory at Edmonton for blocking, the three-time Indy 500 winner again apologized for his post-race outburst — but not the move that sparked the controversy.

In fact, Castroneves suggested IndyCar officials rewrite the rule book.

"I thought, unfortunately, the calls were not very clear, the calls have been very inconsistent and I felt I should not have been black-flagged," Castroneves said in a phone interview Thursday. "The rules do not say that. They change. So it's sad."

Series officials have said they will look at revising the blocking rules before new cars hit the track in 2012.

For the flamboyant Brazilian, who has won over American racing and dancing fans with his exuberance, it can't come soon enough.

After Castroneves crossed the finish line first on July 25, IndyCar president of competition Brian Barnhart took away the victory and awarded it to Target Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon. Castroneves was dropped to 10th in the official results.

An angry Castroneves responded by touching one series official on the chest and grabbing another by the collar as he pleaded his case. He has apologized for those actions several times.

But Castroneves contends he did nothing wrong on the track and was upset and bewildered Monday when circuit officials handed down the punishment — a $60,000 fine and probation for the rest of the season.

"I have to say that I feel punished enough taking the win away from me, taking the points away from me, taking the prize money away from me and taking the chance to win a championship away from me. So I was disappointed," Castroneves said. "I just feel it was a very unfair call and the penalty, honestly, I'm not sure why I'm on probation — for what I did on the race track or my reaction after what happened."

IndyCar officials said Monday that Castroneves was penalized for failing to follow the direction of officials and unsportsmanlike conduct.

Barnhart cautioned drivers before the race to be aware of their lines and not to take any extraordinary steps to prevent a competitor from making a pass. Castroneves was leading when Penske Racing teammate Will Power swung wide around a turn on a restart with three laps left, hoping to beat Castroneves to the corner. Castroneves responded by edging out in an effort to cut Power off, a move Barnhart deemed illegal and dangerous.

"Bad things happen when these cars touch, and there have been serious incidents with major consequences on temporary circuits throughout Indy car history," he said.

Castroneves calls it racing.

Officials gave Castroneves a drive-through penalty, though he continued driving the No. 3 car until he finished the race.

Though Castroneves claimed he was never warned for blocking during the race, Barnhart has said that drivers start the race with two warnings already — the rule book and the driver's meeting.

But Castroneves saw it a different way.

"I have to say in Brian's defense, it's a very tough job, it's a very difficult job to be up there and call the rules," Castroneves said. "I'm saying the rules are very subjective, very open. You don't have to have this type of situation, and that's why I suggest they change the rules."