INDYCAR cited Rule 22.214.171.124 of the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook in its decision, which covers "improper, profane or disparaging language in reference to officials, members or actions or situations connected in any way with INDYCAR, the IZOD IndyCar Series or any event."
Shortly after news of the fine came out, Curt Cavin of The Indianapolis Star received confirmation from IndyCar that the offending "tweet" involved Barnes commenting on this past week's turbocharger issue.
"Today is the day to resolve TURBOGATE! I hope @IndyCar gets their act together. It has been embarassing [sic]," Barnes tweeted on Thursday.
Earlier this morning, Barnes put out a statement on the Panther Racing website:
“Nobody cares about open-wheel racing and the Indianapolis 500 more than I do, and therefor I’m very passionate about all the decisions that are made – right or wrong – that affect our sport. I’m not the first person who has disagreed with a sports league or sanctioning body’s decision and I certainly won’t be the last to get fined for doing so. While my passion for this sport will never waver, I should have chosen a more private forum to voice my opinions. Even if we don’t always agree, I respect the authority of the IndyCar Series and its officials and will continue to abide by their rules and regulations."
The team has not yet decided on whether they wish to appeal the fine and probation.