By Bruce Martin
July 26, 2010

EDMONTON, Alberta -- One of the enduring images of the 2010 IndyCar season is bound to be the fit of rage displayed by Helio Castroneves, who created a YouTube-worthy video when he confronted several officials, including chief of security Charles Burns, at the conclusion of Sunday's race.

For those who may have forgotten, Burns is the same man who headed off Danica Patrick when she was marching down pit road to confront Ryan Briscoe after they crashed leaving the pits in the 2008 Indianapolis 500, yet another piece of must-see video. Burns is a former Marine and former officer in the Indiana State Police. He's 6-foot-3 and solid muscle, which prompted more than one driver to reflect on how unwise it was for Castroneves to grab him by the front of the shirt, twisting it in anger over being black flagged and sent from first to 10th.

"I put 50 bucks on Charles," Dario Franchitti joked. "That would be like going after A.J. Foyt. You're never going to win."

The incident is further evidence of how serious Castroneves takes his profession, but also another sign of how he wears his emotions on his sleeve, which can be to his advantage and his detriment.

"Obviously, I disagree with the decisions made by the race officials on the last restart in today's race, but that is no excuse for my actions after the checkered flag," Castroneves said. "I apologize to my team, our sponsors, the fans and the entire IZOD IndyCar Series community for my behavior. My actions were totally wrong and I acted inappropriately to some people who are my friends and people I respect very much. Obviously, I'm a very emotional person and today I let my emotions get the better of me and I'm very sorry for that."

Lucky for Castroneves, Burns, who bears a resemblance to drill Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, isn't sending the former Dancing with the Stars winner to Boot Camp. But if the driver ever pulls another stunt like that one, he deserves whatever the IRL throws at him.

If you ask some drivers about the year-long probation placed on 38-year-old driver Milka Duno last week, the reply would likely to be, What took so long?

Earlier this month at Watkins Glen International, she cost Team IZOD driver Ryan Hunter-Reay a chance at a fast qualifying lap when she failed to properly get out of his way on a flying lap. He called her "a moron" afterwards and said he was at the end of his rope with Duno. "It finally reached a boiling point," said Hunter-Reay. "She hasn't accomplished enough to be racing in this series and I think her speed shows that. The scariest situation is coming up to her the first time during a race on the ovals. We're already doing 220 miles per hour. We don't need to throw another curveball in the mix. Not at that speed."

IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard has indicated that performance standards need to be met because of the risks involved in this sport. "It is very, very important for the credibility of the IndyCar Series that fans know the drivers are the best in the world," he said. "This series is not a rich man's club."

Duno has been very defensive about her racing ability and said this is the first time in her career that she is competing on the full IndyCar Series schedule. But while she claims to be getting better, the criticism against her has increased.

"I don't pay attention to what others say," she said.

Duno was allowed to start Sunday but spun in Turn 1 at the beginning of the race. After completing five laps she was essentially "parked" by the team at Dale Coyne Racing.

"She hasn't done street circuits, so we knew the challenge was bigger on street tracks," Dale Coyne said. "In racing there will be somebody in the front and somebody in the back. But the thing with Milka is she is the fourth most popular driver, she has made 3 billion impressions, her lines are long at the autograph stand, and she is always smiling and cordial with the fans. She is a great spokesperson for women and she is the only driver that touches the Hispanic market -- she has done a lot of that in the United States.

"I think we all need to work together to understand where we are and get better performance wise, and the IRL has been helpful with that. Everyone needs to understand the big picture."

Look for Duno to be under more scrutiny during her probation period, which could mean even more severe penalties.

With three-time IndyCar Series champion and 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish, Jr. uncertain if he'll continue racing in NASCAR in 2011, asked several IndyCar drivers and officials if they'd welcome him back to the open wheel circuit.

Scott Dixon -- "I think the series is strong at the moment and I think the addition of Sam would help. He is a good friend. It's a tough situation to be in because in both series none of the good seats are open. Sam pushes hard and he is a huge talent."

Helio Castroneves -- "Sam has spent three years in NASCAR and I'm not sure he is happy. He is a driver used to winning races but I would suggest he come back because he is a very talented guy, especially on ovals, and the years we ran together he improved on the road course. He would be happier coming back and winning races, and I have no doubt he could do that because he is a master of the ovals. It would be like riding a bicycle for him."

Larry Curry, general manager of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. "I find that interesting. Certainly the series has changed a little since Sam was here but Sam Hornish is a quality IndyCar driver. Having another quality driver here wouldn't hurt a thing. Sam is a name American driver and while he is may not be Will Power on a road course, he is respectable on a road course. I want to believe that Sam could come up with the sponsorship to get in a car and I think it would be great to have him back in this series. If he gets out of NASCAR I hope he does come back here."

Michael Andretti -- "I don't think it would affect it one way or another. I think he would have a hard time because the road racing now is way different than when he was here. I think he's a great oval racer but he didn't excel in road racing. Who is going to pick him up, though? If you want to win a series championship, you have to have a driver that wins on the road courses and that takes a driver with road racing skills. If he came back it wouldn't hurt us but I don't think it would provide a big boost. What I don't like about him coming back over here is he failed in NASCAR but he can make it here, so I don't think that is a positive for us."

Ryan Briscoe -- "I'm one of his biggest fans in IndyCar racing. If he was on the track and I wasn't, I would be in the corner watching what he was doing because that is the guy I wanted to learn from. I would love to race against him again. I think he is an icon for IndyCar racing. It wouldn't be easy. It would be a big challenge. I have heard him say he is dedicated to NASCAR and is determined to make it work in NASCAR but we would welcome him back with welcome arms."

"I'm running the last 10 laps of this thing and just praying every lap there isn't going to be a caution and that my car was going to have the grip I needed. It is remarkable to be put in this position. Honestly, I'm in shock right now."-- NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray after his historic victory in Sunday's Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McMurray is only the third driver to win the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season. The victory also made Chip Ganassi the only team owner ever to win the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season.

After a "Canadian Road Trip" that included stops in Toronto and the Canadian Prairie City of Edmonton, it's time for a trip to Pocono as NASCAR's "Race to the Chase" heats up. The cutoff race to make the 12-driver field is at Richmond on Sept. 11.

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