IndyCar's Agustín Canapino Taking Leave of Absence After Social Media Abuse Outcry

Jun 8, 2013; Fort Worth, TX, USA; A view of the IndyCar logo and Victory Circle before the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Jun 8, 2013; Fort Worth, TX, USA; A view of the IndyCar logo and Victory Circle before the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After the chaotic fallout from an incident at the Detroit Grand Prix, Argentina's Agustín Canapino will not run IndyCar's next race.

Canapino is taking a leave of absence from IndyCar, Juncos Hollinger Racing announced in a Friday afternoon statement. American Nolan Siegel will run Saturday's Grand Prix at Road America in his stead.

The leave of absence follows widespread controversy over social media abuse in the sport, stemming from contact between Canapino and France's Théo Pourchaire in Detroit. After the race, Pourchaire claimed Canapino's fans inundated him with threats on social media; Canapino denied this and liked posts on social media criticizing Pourchaire.

“I have not seen a single death threat directed at those who claim to have received them. From last year to today, no one in their right mind would do such a thing. It’s outrageous to be accused of this so lightly, and I won’t allow it anymore," Canapino said.

Arrow McLaren—Pourchaire's team—responded by severing its alliance with Juncos Hollinger.

"The growth of online abuse and harassment resulting from the events of this week have led to a very difficult experience for Agustín, the team and the entire IndyCar fan base, and the safety of Agustín and the rest of the competitors has to be considered first and foremost," Juncos Hollinger said in its Friday statement. "Abuse, hatred, and harassment in any form is a detriment to this sport, and we must prioritize the mental and physical well-being of both our drivers and our competition."

Canapino, 34, has yet to win in IndyCar but owns four championships in Argentina's Turismo Carretera stock car series.


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.